What Is the Pushbullet App for Android?

Learn how Pushbullet for Chrome and Android links up your devices

Woman using computer and mobile phone

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Pushbullet is a simple app that bridges your smartphone, tablet, and desktop and once you start using it, you won't understand how you managed without it. You can download Pushbullet for iOS, Android, web browsers, and desktop. The app's primary purpose is to manage your mobile notifications, from any device by sending them all to your computer. 

Setting Up Pushbullet

Getting started with Pushbullet is easy. Start by downloading the Android app to your smartphone or tablet. To sign up for Pushbullet, you need to connect it with your Facebook or Google profile; there's no option to create a unique login.

Pushbullet Android app settings and notifications.

Once you're signed in, the app walks you through its features including sending text messages from your desktop, managing notifications, and sharing links and files between devices.

Pushbullet on Chrome and Other Browsers

Once you have a login, you can install a browser plug-in for Chrome, Firefox, or Opera as well as a desktop client. It's your choice whether you install both the plug-in and the desktop app or just one; Pushbullet works fine either way.

Pushbullet Chrome plug-in

On the desktop app or browser plug-in, you can see a list of all of your connected devices. You can change the names to your preference, such as "Lifewire's Phone" instead of "Galaxy S9."

Pushbullet Notifications

Notifications pop up on the bottom right of your screen. If you have a browser plug-in, you can see a count of the notifications awaiting your response next to the Pushbullet icon on the top right. When you dismiss a notification on your desktop, you're also dismissing it on your mobile device. 

When you get a text, you'll see that notification on your smartphone, tablet, and desktop. You can reply to messages from any of these devices and send new ones too.

Pushbullet desktop settings

It's possible that you'll get too many notifications through Pushbullet. Luckily, you can mute desktop notifications on an app-by-app basis by going into settings. For example, you might mute any notifications that you already get on your desktop. Whenever you get a notification, there's always an option to mute all notifications from that app in addition to dismissing it. 

Transferring Files and Links

Another great feature is the ability to transfer files and links. If you often start reading articles on one device and then switch to another, you can't stop emailing yourself links. With Pushbullet, you can right-click on a web page; choose Pushbullet from the menu, and then the device you want to send it to or even all devices. On mobile, tap the menu button next to the URL box. That's it. 

To share files from your desktop, you can drag and drop files into the app. From your mobile device, select the file you'd like to share and choose Pushbullet from the menu. If you enable it, you can also access all of the files on your mobile device from the desktop app.

Pushbullet is particularly convenient when signing into websites that use two-factor authentication. (That's when you need to input a code sent to your smartphone via text message for an added layer of security over your username and password.) Being able to view and copy the text message on a desktop saves time and patience.

All of these features are great, but you might be concerned about security. Pushbullet offers optional end-to-end encryption, which means that it can't read the information you're sharing between devices. This feature has to be enabled in settings and requires you to set up a separate password.

Premium Pushbullet Features

Pushbullet is a free service, but you can upgrade to the Pro plan and access a few extras. You can opt to pay $39.99 per year/$3.33 per month, or you can go month-to-month for $4.99. There's no free trial, but the app does offer a 72-hour refund period. You can pay by credit card or PayPal.

One of the coolest features of Pro is mirrored notification action support. Some Android notifications are called rich notifications, where you get more options than opening the alert or dismissing it. For example, if an app lets you snooze notifications, you can hit snooze from the Pushbullet notification. Note that if you have a free account, you'll see these rich notification options; choosing one prompts you to upgrade, which is a bit annoying.

Possibly cooler is what Pushbullet calls universal copy and paste. With it, you can copy a link or text on your computer, then pick up your phone and paste it into an app. You need to enable this feature on all of your devices first, and it requires downloading the desktop application. 

Other upgrades include unlimited messages (vs. 100 per month with the free plan), 100 GB storage space (vs. 2 GB), and the ability to send files up to 1 GB (vs. 25 MB). You also get priority support, which presumably means your emails will get answered faster than free members.

Pushbullet Support

Speaking of support, the help section at Pushbullet is not very comprehensive. It's made up of just a handful of FAQs, each of which has an active comments section with responses from Pushbullet employees. You can contact the company directly by filling out a web form or sending an email.

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