Sync your Android phone and browser notifications with Pushbullet

Things I sent my phone, from my Chrome browser (with a gift idea smudged out) Credit: Image by author

Send text, links, and images between your phone with this small, very smart app combo

A browser signed into Google and an Android phone are supposed to "just work" together, to stay in sync. Search an address on Maps on your browser, see that same address come up on your phone when typing. Open a browser tab on your Nexus tablet about a hot new car, quickly open that same tab in Chrome. Your Google stuff is supposed to just dance together, without any need for calling the steps.

Except sometimes you don't want to search something to have it appear on your phone, or you think of something while shopping that you know you'll forget if you type it inside Google Keep. You want to send something between devices. Sadly, emailing yourself still seems like the most surefire way to get this done. Even though it's almost 2014.

If that sounds familiar, you should really try Pushbullet. It is basically a message depot for your phone and your laptop, and it can trade a lot of helpful things between them. You can do this very intentionally, through the Pushbullet app, or by using the universal "Share" option from almost any app that lets you send things out.

pb1.jpgImage by author
An address, image, and note, as seen in Pushbutton's web handler./p>

Things like:

  • Notes ("Remember to mail check to Bill")
  • Links (from Chrome or your browser directly, or from pressing and holding links)
  • Files (25 MB or smaller, served via Pushbullet)
  • Lists (like notes, but with more checkboxes)p
  • Addresses (typed out or shared direct from Maps)

That's really handy in itself, but Pushbullet can do something else that's really useful (but optional): automatically push all your Android notifications from your phone to your browser (Chrome or Firefox). It uses the exact same Android mirroring powers available in the Linconnect (for Linux) app combo recently covered here, but pushes them to Chrome or Firefox instead of a tiny Linux server. What's more, you don't even need to be on the same Wi-Fi network to synchronize extensions, as long as you're logged into the same Google account.

pb3.jpgImage by author
Things that want your attention on your phone can instead find you in your Chrome or Firefox browser. Huzzah!

In other words, you get pings about text messages, email (or just the email you've asked to get notified about), new music tracks playing, and other phone-type things, right on your desktop. Cool.

Pushbullet came in handy for me today while gift shopping. My wife and I are trying to buy a certain style of something for a friend, from a store that's within walking distance of my office. My wife texted me the exact thing to look for. I'm the type who is very likely to forget about that text. Pushbullet, though, keeps a tidy inbox of things I've sent from each device, so that very specific gift idea is locked in there, not to be cleaned out like all my other text messages.

Finally, if you have coworkers or roommates or significant others toting an Android and with whom you'd like to push things around, get them to install Pushbullet and you can push to them, just like you would push to your own browser or phone.

I'm only one day into Pushbullet, and I'm already feeling like it's going to save the day at least a half-dozen times in 2014. Got a clever use for this app? I'll gladly hear about it and update the post over Twitter or in the comments here.

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