Pushbullet - Make Push Notifications More Useful


Pushbullet iconPushbulletAt one time or another we've all wanted a simple way to send a website link, a file or a photo, or a quick note to another device. Our fancy phones are supposed to be smart. Why is this so hard? Pushbullet is an app that gives you these features, and with a Play Store rating of 4.6, it certainly delivers.

After installing the app on your phone or tablet, you're asked to sign in using your Google account. Once you've done that, you can choose to add friends so you can send the various things via push notifications. The list is from your Google contacts, and if they don't have Pushbullet installed, they'll be invited to do so.

If you're concerned about privacy and security issues, have a look at the policies on the Pushbullet website. Security and privacy looked good with encryption and other safeguards in place. Google Cloud Messaging is used to transfer the messages, so that's why you need to join up with your Google account.

If you want to 'push' things between your Android and your computer, extensions are available for the Firefox and Chrome web browsers. On the Chrome browser for example, you'll need to be signed into your Google account. You can send a variety of things to your mobile or your friends device, wherever that may be. You can send links to web pages, a short note such as a shopping list, an address, a list with check boxes or a photo or file. The mobile device will receive a push notification and you tap that to display the item.

If it's a link, it opens in the browser. For notes and checklists, they are displayed in the Pushbullet app. Here is where you manage sent and received items, and delete those no longer needed.

On apps with a share button, a new 'Push This' option will be present. Tapping that will take you to the Pushbullet app where you can choose a recipient or your PC, and optionally add text. When you're done, a tap of the bullet icon sends the item on its way. The push notifications are received instantly so there's no waiting involved.

The address 'push' from a PC to a mobile is a handy feature. A tap of the notification opens up Google Maps for you with the location marked. This one will be popular. All of these features are designed to save you time sending bits of information back and forth.

For those with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and above, Pushbullet supports Androids notification mirroring service. This means that any notifications you get on your phone or tablet can be seen on your PC. If you're on your PC and something requires attention on your phone, you can access the notification from your desktop. While you can't answer a text message or call from your PC, such alerts can come in handy. Phone notifications can be dismissed from your PC without having to reach for it all the time.

In the app settings, you can disable sending of notifications to your PC from individual apps. You can do this from the Chrome notifications icon in your PC taskbar. A good example is to disable constant battery charge updates from a battery widget. No doubt you'll find other notifications which become annoying over time. You can disable them as they pop up on your PC. On the browser extension options, you can change various aspects of how the notifications appear. You can set them up how you want them.

Once you start using Pushbullet, you'll wonder how you got by without it, as the saying goes. The functionality is so obviously needed on Android devices, and the app developers have done a great job of making our digital lives so much easier. No more emailing yourself to send bits of information between devices.


Pushbullet — Free Mobile App of the Week

For Android
Size: 1.4 MB
Download: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pushbullet.android


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