The ‘e’ icon -- shortcut to Internet Explorer -- must be one of the most popular icons. It was not the first Internet browser , but it was the most popular till the introduction of others such as Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome.

Most of us use the browser to browse the Net (well, browsers are for browsing), but they have evolved so much that the Chrome OS, is in fact, a browser-based operating system.

Modern browsers are much more capable and can also make your interaction with the Web much easier.

Most top browsers now have mobile versions too. Here’s where the fun, or the challenge starts. With users moving from desktop to mobile, the companies behind the browsers have realised the need to constantly adapt to the changing habits of the users.

Mobile users trying to browse sites have one major problem -- they would like to extend their desktop browsing to their mobile, or even continue to browse the site in their mobile when they leave their desktop.

The first thing mobile users are likely to find difficult is typing long URLs into the mobile. What if you could just ‘transfer’ the page from the browser to your mobile? Browser extensions such as ‘Chrome to Phone’ (for Google Chrome) and ‘Fox to Phone’ do just that. Once you install the browser extension and the corresponding application in the mobile, a click is enough to send the page you are viewing in the browser to your mobile. Browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Opera, you can get a seamless browsing experience while switching from the desktop to the mobile or vice-versa.

Firefox

Firefox calls this function ‘Firefox Sync’. It allows you to “take all your Firefox data (such as your bookmarks, history, passwords, add-ons and open tabs) with you wherever you go.” All you have to do is to set up Firefox Sync on your computer, office computer and the mobile. When you do this, the Firefox data will be stored in Firefox’s servers and synchronised automatically. Then, when you set up Firefox Sync on your work computer (or even your phone running Firefox), your Firefox data will be automatically synchronised among the devices.

Firefox Sync can also “makes it easy to surf the Web on your PC, get up and go and have everything (open tabs, saved passwords, browsing history and bookmarks) waiting for you on your phone just the way you left it.” As it also syncs bookmarks, you will be save the drudgery of typing your favourite site’ s URL in the mobile.Chrome sync works almost the same way. Once you sign into the Chrome browser in your desktop (at your home and office) and also in the Chrome browser in your mobile, all your settings, bookmarks and other info are synced between the devices. Here to, you can add multiple computers or devices for syncing.

Chrome also allows you to open, in your mobile, the same tabs you have opened in your computer. Once you check the ‘open tabs’ check box in the devices, you are ready to sync the tabs. In the lower right corner of your chrome browser in your mobile, click on ‘open other tabs’. This will display the tabs open in the computer. You have to select the tab you want to open.

Opera

Opera is a great browser with a number of features such as Turbo that allow you to open heavy websites fast in a slow connection. The feature that allows Opera to sync across computers and other devices is called Link.

When you first log in to your Opera account, you will be given an option to select what you want to sync. Once you do it, Link works like Firefox Sync and Chrome Sync. You must understand that what these browsers (mobile and desktop versions) do is to sync your activities. If you create or delete a bookmark, they are created and deleted across devices. You must ensure you don’t end up deleting your valuable bookmarks by mistake.

dinakaran.rengachary@thehindu.co.in