Want to see all your open Firefox tabs on your iPhone? There may soon be an app for that.
There’s already a demo app and a code library that will let someone build an app for that, thanks to Mozilla’s recent efforts to extend Weave, its syncing tool for Firefox, to devices like the iPhone where the browser doesn’t go.
Weave is a Firefox-based syncing tool that takes a snapshot of your bookmarks, search history, saved passwords, preferences and open tabs and syncs that information to all copies of Firefox across all your computers. Weave recently hit 1.0, and will likely become a default part of Firefox in the future.
In the meantime, Mozilla Labs has announced a new set of Weave APIs and developer tools for extending Weave’s syncing powers beyond Firefox to, for example, to the iPhone. The company’s plan is to give you access to your synced data regardless of whether or not Firefox is available. Right now, that effort is limited to a demo app and a code library, but the project makes sense — especially considering most of us use at least two different brands of browser on distinctly different devices like desktops, phones and, soon, tablets.
Whether or not such an app for the iPhone or iPad would make it past the notoriously fickle App Store gestapo is another matter. We’re hoping it does though, because the demo app of Weave running on the iPhone (see video below) bests even Apple’s efforts at syncing data by giving you access to your entire desktop — browsing history, bookmarks and any currently open Firefox tabs — all without needing to be anywhere near your desktop.
Other examples and source code for the new Weave APIs include a web-based application that will work in any browser, a command line interface (written in Python) and a complete, ready-to-go app for Palm’s WebOS.
The Weave team plans to release more APIs in the future. Imagine a search engine that can narrow the field of results by taking a look at your Weave data to see what interests you. Or how about recommendations based on what you like at not just one website, but all of them?For the time being, such APIs are just a glimmer in Weave’s eye and the Weave team acknowledges that these potential web service APIs will need more restrictions and privacy controls than the current crop of APIs offers. But thanks to the Weave APIs, at least some of your Firefox data can go places even Firefox can’t.