Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

App of the Week: Pushbullet

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Screenshot of Pushbullet on iPhoneThis week I’m looking at Pushbullet, a service for pushing data between multiple computers and devices.

Pushbullet joins a crowded market with several other competing services, including Boxcar, Pushover and Instapush. But what makes Pushbullet stands out is that it works on desktops as well as mobiles, and it supports multiple types of push notifications, including those with attached files.

On mobile, there are iOS and Android apps, and on the desktop there are extensions for Firefox and Chrome. There’s also a rather basic Windows app which is in beta.

Pushbullet’s purpose is allow you to move between devices more seamlessly. For example, if you found an interesting link on your mobile, you could copy the URL, paste it into Pushbullet, and then send it to your desktop to open in your web browser. You can also use it to transfer files, such as photos, from a phone to a desktop. Or, send a file from your desktop to your phone to carry it with you, or send an address from your desktop to your phone so that you can follow directions whilst on the move. Any content that you send is also saved to an inbox on Pushbullet’s servers for later retrieval if needed.

Pushbullet also integrates with IFTTT. This means that you can be sent a copy of any new file added in your Dropbox public folder, or be notified if it’s about to rain. And, if any of your contacts use Pushbullet, you can use it to send them data too.

In the past I’ve used Dropbox to move files between mobile and desktop, but Pushbullet offers a more direct way. You don’t need to make that file available to every machine that you use, just the one where you need it.

I get the impression that the Android app is a bit more advanced than the relatively basic iOS app, but the latter was updated this week so it is clearly under active development. Similarly the Windows app seems very beta at present. There’s no OS X app right now.

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