[tor-bugs] #33021 [Applications/Tor Browser]: Sync tabs between Tor Browser instances

Tor Bug Tracker & Wiki blackhole at torproject.org
Thu Jan 23 17:44:11 UTC 2020

#33021: Sync tabs between Tor Browser instances
 Reporter:  sysrqb                    |          Owner:  tbb-team
     Type:  enhancement               |         Status:  new
 Priority:  Medium                    |      Milestone:
Component:  Applications/Tor Browser  |        Version:
 Severity:  Normal                    |     Resolution:
 Keywords:  TorBrowserTeamTriaged     |  Actual Points:
Parent ID:                            |         Points:  10
 Reviewer:                            |        Sponsor:

Comment (by acat):

 I think it's an interesting idea :)

 We did something similar using WebRTC instead of onion services to
 communicate between devices in my previous job. Just sharing it FWIW.

 In our model the mobile was the "master": it was the the device that knew
 all other devices (desktops), and to add a new one you had to do it from
 the there (by scanning a QR code). In this model the "mobile" had a
 similar role the server has in a typical cloud sync solution (e.g. Firefox

 As you mention, there is the issue that for two devices to sync both have
 to be available at the same time (e.g. one Tor Browser at home and one at
 work). To solve this we were assuming that the mobile would be almost 100%
 of the time available, so the idea was to make one desktop (e.g. at work)
 sync with mobile, and later make mobile sync with the other desktop (e.g.
 at home).

 Unfortunately, there were some UX problems due to technical issues, since
 for the mobile browser to be available the user had to unlock the phone
 and open the app manually. It was not possible to communicate with the
 Android app via WebRTC after a while, I assume doing the same with onion
 services might run into the same problem. Or is there actually a way of
 sending some kind of push notification via an onion service in background?

 Perhaps it would be just fine to have to unlock the phone and open Tor
 Browser to sync, and it would be just a matter of educating users. And of
 course we would not have to follow the same mobile-is-master model.

Ticket URL: <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/33021#comment:1>
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