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Firefox Sync doesn't sync bookmarks between smartphone and tablet.Works fine between desktop and mobiles.

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I have a desktop,smartphone and tablet.They all have the latest FX35.They are all signed in and connected to Sync.Sync is the latest version and it works with email and password, instead of pins.On all devices, Sync is configured to sync all items(bookmarks,tabs etc).

When I enabled Sync on smartphone and tablet, they got my desktop's bookmarks without a problem.They appear in a folder named desktop bookmarks.All the changes reflect properly between smartphone-desktop and tablet-desktop, but, the bookmarks do not sync between smartphone-tablet. When I open a tab on the smartphone, after a while it appear on tablet's Synced Tabs page.Vice verse is true also.So at least some syncing exists between smartphone-tablet.

Is it possible to create a bookmark on smartphone and have it appear on the tablet and vice verse,just like the synced tabs work ? I tried deleting the sync account and creating a new one, but I still don't see my smartphone's bookmarks on the tablet.

It would be even better if there was an option to choose which device can override another device's bookmarks.I don't really need desktop bookmarks on smartphone, but I'm too scared to delete them.I'm afraid it will also delete them from desktop... ?


All Replies (6)

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HI GeorgePeterson:

So "new" aka "Firefox Accounts based sync" syncs desktop<->tablet and desktop<->phone but not phone<->tablet. Hmmm I actually have tested this S5<->Nexus 5<->desktop (Mac) and it worked.

soooo the big question :-)

  1. What desktop OS version (e.g. Mac OS X 10.10, 10.8, Windows (Windows 7, 8), Ubutuntu crafty codger ), what tablet and OS version(e.g. Nexus 7 2013, Android 5 Lollipop), what phone (e.g. Samsung Galaxy S5 Android 4.4.2)

I will re-test too!



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Today I found out that bookmarks were synced between mobile devices.It took a long time but at least it worked.How often is it supposed to sync? I did some tests.

Test #1 (a possible bug here) Opened a Site on smartphone.Went to tablet's Synced Tabs page and started revisiting/resyncing it every minute.It never synced the tab.I opened the second tab but still no luck.Then I opened "New Tabs" page on Smartphone.That is when tabs got synced on tablet.It appears there is a bug that prevents open tabs from syncing unless you visit the "New Tabs" page on the "host device"(smartphone, in this case).Not sure if it's a bug or designed that way, but it's an unnecessary step that prevents a perfect "continuum" experience that everyone is talking about now a days.

Test #2. Closing sites on smartphone did not remove the sites from "Synced tabs" on tablet.The only way to remove them is to sync new tabs, then the new tabs override the old list.Not a big deal I guess.

Test #3. Created a bookmark on tablet.Took about 7 minutes for bookmark to appear on smartphone.On another similar test it took 30 minutes.I'm getting inconsistent results every time I test this.It appears that Sync works at fixed intervals and never allows manual syncing ? It would be better if there was a way to manually sync bookmarks by pulling the page down, like on Sync Tabs page.

Since we're on this topic, here is a suggestion.When I visit the Bookmarks area, site names are separated by horizontal lines.There is a lots of wasted space there which results in only 6 bookmarked sites being displayed.We could fit more if things were a bit narrower, or, add an option to hide the URL and display only user defined title for the bookmark and allow placing bookmarks next to each other.You could fit at least 20 bookmarks in one page instead of 6 (still displayed with large letters), and not have to scroll down several pages to find something.Even on my tablet the bookmarked sites take up less space than on my phone.Now a days people do lots of computing on mobile so details like these can improve productivity a lot.

Windows 7 64bit Pro. LG G3 4.4.2. Nexus 7 5.0.2. All running FX35.

Thank you.

Modified by GeorgePeterson

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Hi Peterson:

Wow! Amazing test! Thanks for taking the time to do this.

I will test Windows 8 + Nexus 7 2013 + Samsung S5 on monday (I don't have any LG phones)

You wrote: "How often is it supposed to sync?" Hmmm unfortunately there is no easy answer to this as far as I can tell! Why is there no easy answer? Because Firefox sync on Android runs when Android sync tells it to run which is not predictable. i.e. it's my understanding that even if you go to Android Settings | Accounts | Firefox and tap 'Sync all' that the sync doesn't happen right away (and not all phones and tablets have 'Sync all' ; it depends on what version of Android and what customizations)

I will double check with a developer and get back to you if my understanding is incorrect!


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I didn't know that Firefox account was added under Settings>Accounts. Thank you for the info, Roland !

It appears that the main problem is with Lollipop.I borrowed my friend's HTC device running on KitKat.At that point I had 2 phones on KitKat and 1 tablet on Lollipop.

Test #4. Added a bookmark on one phone and MANUALLY synced Firefox on both phones (Lollipop tablet has no manual sync button).The bookmarks were synced IMMEDIATELY between KitKat phones.

If I do not sync them manually, it will take a long time, even between KitKat devices.I think the issue is "amplified" even more because the smartphones have different sync intervals, so the Phone-1 (where bookmark was created) can take a while to upload changes to Firefox account, and that can happen right AFTER Phone-2 was synced, so Phone-2 would have to wait through its entire sync interval to get the new updates from Firefox account.Basically, I might have to wait sync interval of phone-1, plus sync interval of phone-2 .This is probably the reason why I get different sync times every time I test it.

I read somewhere that Lollipop stops apps from syncing randomly and syncs them all at once to save battery.Could this be the problem ? I think it was a poor choice to remove the manual sync button.When does a user decide to manually sync something ? Most likely when he needs something RIGHT AWAY, so removing the manual sync option was a poor choice by Google, if I understood this right.

Looking forward to test alternative options like about:config tweaks or Android tweaks(as long as no rooting is involved). Thanks.

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It appears that lack of manual sync button in Lollipop is a bug.I have the same issue described here

but !

When the auto-sync for all accounts is disabled, every account can be synced manually by tapping on the account name.If anyone has a Lollipop, please try to reproduce this:

Settings>Accounts> menu button> un-check the box to disable Auto-Sync> tap on Firefox > under "Accounts", tap on your email address > Under "Firefox" , tap "Touch to sync now" > It should show the spinning sync circle and complete the manual sync, but even after that, my tablet still doesn't get the latest bookmarks from Firefox account.Perhaps this manual sync method is broken too and the spinning sync icon doesn't actually "do its job".

I created a bookmark on Lollipop tablet 5 hours ago and tried every possible way to sync, but the KitKat smartphone still doesn't have it.

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Happy Sunday GeorgePeterson

You wrote: "I created a bookmark on Lollipop tablet 5 hours ago and tried every possible way to sync, but the KitKat smartphone still doesn't have it."

I can try this tomorrow! This sounds promising!

And then file a Lollipop to KitKat sync bug or at least look for one if I can reproduce it (and try KitKat to KitKat to make sure that it's Lollipop specifi)