Send Info to Your Android Phone from Google on Your Computer

Link Your Phone to Google and You Can Send Notes and More

Your computer keyboard is much easier to type on than your smartphone's tiny virtual one (even if you have a "phablet"). When you're at the desktop, no need to pull out your phone to get directions, create an alarm, or create a note on your phone — just use the browser you're already working in. Then you can grab your phone and head out the door at the end of the day with the information already set on your phone. Here's how. 

The secret is using Google's Android Action Cards built into Google Search. Once you've linked your phone to Google, you'll be able to send directions, find your device, send notes, set alarms, and set reminders with a few quick "searches" or instructions you type into the search bar.

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Find My Phone with Google Search. Melanie Pinola

To use the Android Action cards, you'll need a few things set up first:

  1. the Google app updated on your phone. (Head to Google Play on your phone to update it.)
  2. Google Now notifications turned on in the Google app. Go to the Google app, tap the Menu icon in the top left corner, then Settings > Now cards. Toggle on show cards and "show notifications" or similar instructions (on my Nexus 5 it's "Show notifications for card updates").
  3. Toggle on Web & App Activity on your Google account page
  4. Make sure you're signed into Google on both your phone's Google app and on www.google.com on your computer--with the same account.

With these settings in place, you'll be able to use the search terms below to send information from your desktop to your Android phone.  More »

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Send Directions to Your Phone

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Send Directions to Your Phone from Google. Melanie Pinola

Now we can use Google.com or the omnibar in Chrome to push information to our phones. Type in send directions, for example, in the search box and Google will find your phone's location and show a widget to enter in a destination. Once you do so, you can click the "Send directions to my phone" link to instantly send that data to your phone. From there, it's just a tap to start the navigation in Google Maps. Note that while the notification sends directions from your phone's current location to the destination, you can change the starting location in Google Maps.

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Send a Note to Your Phone

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Send a Note to Android from Google Search. Melanie Pinola

What if there's something you want to jot down for later--an item you need from the grocery store or a useful website someone just shared with you? Type in send a note on Google.com or from the Chrome omnibar, and you'll get a notification on your phone with the note content. You can copy the note text to your clipboard or share it to another app, such as your favorite note-taking or to do app, from there. 

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Set an Alarm or a Reminder

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Set an Alarm on Android from Google. Melanie Pinola

 You've probably already guessed it by now, but the key to setting an alarm is searching for set an alarm and, similarly, set a reminder in Google. The alarm is for the current day only and will be set on your phone's default clock app. The reminder will be set up with a new Google Now card, which will remind you on your devices when or where you set the reminder.

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Bonus Tips

Once your phone is linked, you can type in find my phone to locate your phone and ring it. If you need to lock your phone or erase it because your phone was lost or stolen, tap on the map to get to Android Device Manager. Google Operating System also notes that if you're outside of the US and don't see the cards when you enter the phrases above, add &gl=us to the end of the search URL.