Surfing the web from your desktop rig or laptop is a brilliant way to enjoy scads of free reading material from around the globe. That said, it’s not ideally suited for those of us who prefer to peruse our words on the go. One could argue that sending content to a smartphone or tablet would be the way to go, but for individuals with a freakishly low data cap, or worse, no mobile device to speak of, doing so isn’t a viable option. For owners of an Amazon Kindle, however, there is another option to consider: Send to Kindle--our Browser Extension of the Week.
Alright, Android phone owners. This one's for you, so if you have no idea what I'm talking about and/or don't actually own an Android-based phone, you can steer clear this week. Otherwise... get ready to be rocked.
A clever little Firefox add-on called Send to Phone is an amazing resource for those of you that use Android-based phones. Here's why: One of the more frustrating things one does as a phone owner is getting information--like a Web URL, a friend's email address, or a note to thyself--from your PC to your mobile device. Short of emailing it to yourself (or, worse, texting it to yourself), you really don't have a great way to convey information that you've found on the Interwebs to your phone.
Send to Phone fixes that issue in two ways, and they're both detailed after the jump!
Blackberry users love email, and those who don't probably wish they had an iPhone. RIM's primary advantage over the years has been dynamite push email services, but as any Gmail user will tell you, support for Google's free email service has been somewhat lacking. Push support allowed users to retrieve Gmail messages, but when they got home to check their inboxes the old fashion way, anything read on the Blackberry was still marked as un-read even with IMAP enabled. Gmail users simply had no way to label or organize messages on the go. This was a frustrating limitation, but luckily for Blackberry Gmail users, this is all set to change.
RIM has confirmed plans to upgrade its North American BIS servers from 2.8 to 3.0 on Sunday March 28th, and along with a slew of other compatibility updates, support for 2-way Gmail sync as well as labels will be added. The BIS servers are the secret sauce hosted by RIM which allows up to 10 email accounts to be pushed to a single device. This allows mobile users to drastically reduce the amount of data the phone needs to transmit in order to conduct common tasks such as forwarding and opening email attachments.
Blackberry push email service will be disrupted between 2AM and 6AM EST as a result of the upgrade, but if you're a Gmail user on a Blackberry, it's a small price to pay.
Douglas Gresham, software engineer for Google’s Mobile division, announced today on the official Google Mobile blog that they have enabled Push support for Gmail for iPhone and Windows Mobile devices. While other applications such as calendars and contacts already had the capability, Push connectivity for Gmail could only be accomplished using third-party applications.
Smartphone users have been requesting this connectivity for quite some time due to its “always on” feedback. Once new email arrives in your box, you will have it quickly on your phone. In theory, the Push connection method should also reserve battery life because the device is not polling for messages on a set interval, even when there is nothing new.
From my experience, once properly set up (takes about 5 minutes) it took my phone (iPhone 3GS) about 45 minutes to fully retrieve all of my data over 3G. So, be patient. The first thing transferred that I noticed were my contacts (just under 100 entries), the last thing was my calendar, email fell somewhere in between.
Have you set it up on your own device? Let us know.