Pushbullet: Share Calls, Notifications and Media

Receive Calls, Reply to Messages on Your PC

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AlonzoDesign

Pushbullet makes it simple to share calls, notifications and even files between your mobile device and your computer. It works even better for VoIP apps that are for mobile phones and don’t have a version for the computer.

Pros and Cons of Pushbullet

Pros:

Very simple to set up and use. Things get done automatically once set, or within two mouse clicks or touches.

  • Completely free
  • Works on all common platforms, including Linux and BlackBerry. Also works as a plug-in with browsers.
  • Allows seamless sharing of files to and from a computer.
  • Instantaneous sharing of incoming calls and messages, as well as other notifications occurring on the smartphone, through push notification.

Cons:

  • Files cannot exceed 25 MB.
  • Only one file can be sent at a time.

Functions

Why would one need an app like Pushbullet? Most people use it for its ability to seamlessly share files between your smartphone and your computer. It is much easier than having to plug in a USB cable or to set up an ad-hoc network over WiFi, or even to try Bluetooth. With two clicks or two touches, the file is transferred.

Pushbullet also has another purpose. It uses push notification to push events happening on your phone to your computer, thereby sharing your calls and other kinds of notification. For example, you will have a call ring on your computer as well when it rings on your phone. This way, you will not miss calls and messages while you are away from your phone and working on your computer. You get even notifications from apps, like you received a new message on Skype, Viber, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, and even alerts.

You can also transfer links to and from your PC. So far, people used to email themselves the files and links, unless they want to retype the whole stuff.

Interface

The app’s interface is very minimal: just a + sign to touch in case you want to initiate a transfer. Else, most of the app’s work involves listening in the background for notifications and events and pushing them to your other device. To share a document or, say a picture as a matter of example, from your Android device to your PC, you can initiate it from the file explorer, gallery, camera or any app that allows you to handle the file with the sharing option. So, when you select the Share option on your picture, the list of sharing options will include Pushbullet with the words A new push.

On the computer side, each time there is a notification, a pop-up appears with the appropriate message on the bottom right corner of your screen. You even have the possibility to answer calls on your PC. You can share files by right-clicking on them and selecting the Pushbullet option on the option box, which is included within the menu options of all shareable files. Else, you can fire up the interface for the app either by running the standalone app or by clicking the button that appears on a toolbar in your browser.

Downsides of Pushbullet

Pushbullet is primarily a notification pushing app, so don’t expect advanced file and media sharing capabilities. It cannot open your mobile storage device and give all details of content inside, like a file explorer. You can only share files between the phone and your computer. But this in itself is a tremendous help.

The files you can send cannot exceed 25 MB in size. This will hardly be a problem for photos, but large documents won't work.

Also, it does not allow the sharing of multiple files at a time. Sharing multiple files can be made possible by grouping and zipping them and transferring them as a zipped file.

Setting Up Pushbullet

You can download the app for your Android phone from Google Play. Installation is straightforward and there is no configuration, but you should at least once fire up the app and have a look at the settings, in case you need to check one or two options to enable sharing.