A few weeks ago, I wrote about an application from Samsung called Samsung Flow. It allows owners of Samsung galaxy devices with fingerprint scanners to unlock their laptops using the phone’s fingerprint scanner. The app also did more than just provide a new way to unlock your Windows 10 PC as it also allowed users to send files between the two devices and even receive notifications on desktop from phone.
Now Samsung Flow left me wanting more in terms of bridging the gap between my phone and laptop. It managed to get notifications from the phone to my laptop but beyond that it struggled. So I went on a search for an applications that would help me get a more unified experience between the two devices.
Many of us are working from laptops or computers these days and only a few times during the work period do we touch our smartphones to check what’s going on there. I’ve gone so far as to open all the web based apps that I have on my phone so I can just get the same messages on the laptop and not have to grab my phone and risk getting distracted for a little longer.
The application that I ended up being referred to by others is called Push Bullet and it aims to be the bullet that pushes notifications to your desktop. Yeah forgive me for the bad joke lol. Anyways, the app does a good job at bringing notifications to the desktop. The thing that I like most about the way it does it is that the notifications actually stick onto your screen on top of whatever you were viewing.
For me that is great because it means that I won’t miss an important notification. As is the case with some apps that do the same notification forwarding but they only appear for a few seconds. You could have been looking somewhere else when it came and disappeared before you even knew about it. The only way to remove the notifications is by dismiss them from the popups that would be on the laptop screen.
A problem that I encountered with the way Push Bullet works in terms of notifications is that even if you dismiss a notification, when another one from the same application comes in, then you get both notifications. This quickly becomes a problem once you start dismissing notifications from let’s say WhatsApp for example. I wish it could know which notifications are new and which ones I had dismissed before so that it would just show me the new stuff only.
Sending notifications isn’t the only trick that Push Bullet has up its sleeve. It can also send links from your desktop to your phone. This is a common problem for many as you might have been viewing something on your desktop and you want to share the link to your Snapchat friend. You’d have to either copy the like one letter at a time or find some hacky way like sending your friend the link from WhatsApp web and then copying it. Push Bullet makes that process as simple as just clicking a button.
In order to really get the most out of Push Bullet, you have to install the mobile application, desktop application and an extension on your browser. After the setup which shouldn’t take long, you’ll be able to do all the above as well as reply to messages from the notifications. A big drawback that Push Bullet has is that it relies on both devices having an Internet connection.
So if you’re not connected then it’s back to picking up the phone in order to stay updated on what’s happening there. Hopefully, one day someone will come up with something that will truly bring a unified experience across multiple devices regardless of Internet connectivity.