The next major version
This roadmap is a sneak peek at what's coming in the next major version of Synergy. This is for you, the Synergy user, so you can see what's coming soon (and then hopefully tell us what you're most excited about!) In the next version, we're learning from our mistakes and putting UX first.
You can also tell us what's missing from this roadmap. If there's something that excites you here or if we didn't hit the mark, vote now and let us know, so we can prioritize it for you.
- Advanced Settings
- Wayland Support
- Offline Config
- File Copy & Paste
- File Drag & Drop
- Screen Positioning
- Config Profiles/Groups
- Scriptable API
- Lock Master
- Screensaver Sync
- Lock Screen Sync
- Gestures on macOS
- Key Swapping
- Hotkey Config
- Hotkey Config
- Proxy Support
- Wrap Around
- Works Before Login
- Audio Sharing
- File Sharing
In Synergy 2, we removed advanced config in an effort to simplify the configuration, but actually we made it too simple. What about advanced users who want to, for example, choose which network adapter they want Synergy to use? In the next major version, we'll be adding a settings screen where advanced power users will be able to poke around under the hood. You'll be able to configure everything that you can in Synergy 1, and more.
There's a new Linux display manager that is set to replace Xorg/X11, which has been the defacto Linux desktop manager for as long as we can remember! Wayland is very similar to Xorg/X11, in terms of the API, but sadly is incompatible with Synergy. It is possible to switch between Xorg/X11 and Wayland on most Linux distros, but since Wayland is the way forward and Xorg/X11 is being phased out, we are committed to adding official Wayland support.
It turns out that many of our users were unable to use the new cloud-based auto-config service in Synergy 2. There are also people that don't want to use the Cloud because of privacy concerns. Don't worry, only your IP address is used for the handshake and anything you type stays absolutely private and is never shared with us. Nonetheless, it's your data, so it's your choice. Additionally, there are real use cases where a computer can't access the web. Whether the computer is on an air-gapped military base, used in primary industry, or part of a test environment (like at anti-virus companies), sometimes Synergy simply needs to be configured offline.
A major pain point for our users is updating; to update, you have to download and run the installer on three or more different computers, and sometimes you even have to reconnect a mouse and keyboard to all computers. What would be great, is if you could either automatically (when the computer is idle) or manually click once to trigger the upgrade of all computers simultaneously. Therefore, best case: you don't need to do anything at all (it's all automatic and in the background). And worst case: you need to click once, on only one of your computers and it's all updated for you (also in the background).
File Copy & Paste
While you can indeed copy the contents of a file between your computers in Synergy right now (i.e. clipboard sharing), you actually can't right click a file and copy the actual file. Seems like common sense to include this feature. Fun fact: The implementation is actually more closely related to the file drag and drop feature and really doesn't share much in common with the clipboard sharing feature as you might think. So, we'll likely implement it around the same time as when we rewrite the implementation for file drag and drop.
File Drag & Drop
In Synergy 1, for a brief time (between around 1.6 and 1.9) you could just about drag and drop files between your Windows and Mac computers. There were a few caveats, such as only being able to drop files to the desktop. Admittedly this feature was actually a prototype which then, unfortunately, fell into disrepair during the development of Synergy (to the point where it stopped working altogether). Our plan is to restore the drag and drop feature by fixing the bugs that stopped it working in Synergy, eventually moving on to a full rewrite to actually include Linux support and provide a more seamless feel for Mac and Windows users.
When you have two monitors (one for each computer) which are side by side and the same size, everything works great! But what if the screens are different sizes, or for one of your computers the monitors are offset... that's when things get tricky. Right now, Synergy treats all of your monitors as one big display, which causes issues when they're in unconventional positions relative to each other. Our solution to this will be to show all monitors individually on the config screen, allowing you to position your screens exactly where you need them (no more screen grid).
Setup Groups (Config Profiles)
Many Synergy users tend to have multi-computer setups in different locations. Maybe you take your laptop to work and use it next to your workstation, then when you go home, you set your laptop down by your gaming rig. Whatever the use case, Synergy 1 doesn't play nice with multiple locations using the same config. One workaround is to reconfigure every time you move between work and home, but is this seamless? Not really. So, to solve this, setup groups are on the roadmap; a config profile for each location so you can have different layouts depending on where you're working.
Auto-switching to master is often a very useful feature; you don't have to think about which machine is the "server" or "client" because it happens automatically based on which keyboard and mouse is being used. However, what if you don't want this? Sometimes, you may want to lock a certain computer as the master. This could be useful if someone is borrowing your laptop, or if you're regularly sharing computers, etc.
We may implement screensaver sync in the next major version of Synergy. This used to be a very popular feature when screensavers were all the rage. But with those screensaver days gone by, we may simply implement only the lock screen sync feature.
Lock Screen Sync
How cool would it be if locking one of your computers locked all the others? And wouldn't be even cooler if when you unlock your computer, it unlocks all the others too! The implementation is a technical challenge, but it's certainly possible, and it's also on our roadmap. This will save you lots of time, give you better security, and it'll also save you the embarrassment of being wallpaper pranked, or worse.
Gestures on macOS
Multi-Touch gestures were introduced to the Mac in 2012. So why haven't we added support for them yet? Well, this may or may not be possible depending on whether or not Apple provides the functionality to share gestures. So far, as of 2017, none of our competitors have achieved this, but that's no excuse and we do feel your pain. We do plan on investigating the possibility of gestures, but it will depend on the capabilities of the operating system.
In Synergy 1, there was this neat little feature where you could swap your meta and alt keys. These keys are also known as the Windows key for PC users, or the Command key for Mac users. Very handy when using Mac and Windows together! Sadly we undervalued this feature in beta versions and it wasn't included so far. However, we have since realized the importance of this little feature, and plan to make it automated in the next major version of Synergy. This way, if you're sharing from a Windows computer, you can press the Windows key to trigger the Command key on your Mac. And, if you're sharing from a Mac, you can trigger the Windows key with the command key. This will, of course, be customizable in the settings screen.
Soon, you'll be able to configure special hotkeys. A hotkey is a single key or key combination that you can customize to perform a specific action. Some of those actions will be: lock the cursor to a screen, switch to a specific screen, and maybe more!
Since recent beta versions have used a cloud server to make the initial connection between your computers, it seems like there are many Synergy users who are struggling with getting blocked by corporate proxies. We've recently added proxy support for Windows users and will add Linux and macOS support later on.
Some users have a ton of screens. Sometimes 4 or more in a row! This creates an annoying problem: you can't move from the far right screen to the far left screen in one swift mouse movement (and vice versa). We'll be adding a setting to the next major version of Synergy so you can teleport your cursor from the far right screen edge to the far left edge (also vice versa).
Works Before Login
Sometimes, you'll want to control a computer before it's logged in. For example, you've restarted your computer and you're forced to login before you can use the computer. Right now you can't do that because Synergy starts automatically after the login screen. Sadly this means that if you regularly reboot a computer that is not your main computer, you'll still need a keyboard attached to that computer.
For you environmentally friendly types out there, we plan on adding a feature that ties nicely in with the lock screen sync feature. When you resume one computer, it'll automatically resume all the other computers using something called Wake-on-LAN (WoL), which wakes your computer up using the network connection.
Apps like TeamViewer are able to share sound from one computer to another. We plan on bringing this feature to Synergy so that you can do the same, mixing all of your computers' sound into one audio output. Until then, you can always use two digital audio USB devices to share sound between your computers.
Some apps don't play well with Synergy. Games are a good example of this. Because games use the mouse and keyboard input in a very different way to Synergy, conflicts can happen, and a game may behave strangely (full-screen mode breaks, the cursor goes crazy, etc). To solve this, the user must disable Synergy before starting a game, and then re-enable it when they want to go back into work mode. Ok, so with this in mind, wouldn't it be better if Synergy simply disables itself when an incompatible app (like a full-screen video game) is running? This is a feature we may consider adding.
Let's face it, Windows file sharing has evolved into a difficult to use, unpopular feature. It’s also been supplanted by cloud sharing because that’s what the mass market wants. Sadly, this leaves us multi-computers users in the dark. Well, wouldn’t it be neat if Synergy provided intuitive and easy to use cross-platform file sharing? Not just ad-hoc copying of single files, but a shared folder that is easily accessible by you on any of your computers that synchronizes over the super-fast LAN (not the super slow cloud).