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Sync functionality is incoherent and needs better user controls

Making moves

At present it seems like Sync works by recording any browser config changes to the cloud and then propagating the cloud state to all client devices. The problem is that the user may not intend for changes made to one device to be reflected on all of them. The way Sync currently works, once you have saved your login, Sync changes are performed automatically in both directions, without input from the user or notification to the user, and in general there is a lack of clarity in communicating how Sync actually works. I propose the following changes to Sync and its UI within Firefox.

  1. Saving a login to Sync (in Firefox) should be decoupled from enabling or disabling its activities. The user should be able to stay logged in but, separately, choose to disable automatic syncing.
  2. Option to confirm any changes to be propagated to/from the Sync cloud. To avoid repeatedly asking to make the same change, such changes could be tracked with a timestamp and Sync should automatically ignore any change that has already been seen.
  3. Ability to review and adjust content on the cloud. In the event that a change was inadvertently propagated to the cloud, the user should be able to see the changes being tracked by Sync and manually remove them if desired.
  4. Option for manual control of Sync. If enabled, Sync never transmits configuration data until the user requests it to do so. The user will determine the direction of the Sync, i.e. whether they want the current device configuration to become the cloud state, or vice versa.
  5. Prompt for confirmation when logging into Sync for the first time on a new device/installation. Regardless of their cloud-saved settings, Sync will ask one time if the user wishes to import their cloud config into the new installation. If the user says yes, then Sync will import the config from the cloud, including the settings for Sync. If the user says no, then Sync will either consider the existing cloud config to be stale as in #2, or switch to manual mode as in #4.