Android App – PushBullet Review

The Good: PushBullet transmits items from desktop PC to Android device quickly and reliably. It makes use of the Android notification bar, and even lets you share devices with others so they can push items to you.
The Bad: The PushBullet app cannot push items from an Android device to a desktop PC or another Android device. File transfers are limited to 10MB.
The Bottom Line: PushBullet is the easiest way to get files, links, notes, lists, and addresses from your desktop computer to your Android device.

PushBullet is hands-down the easiest way to get files, links, notes, lists, and addresses from your desktop computer to your mobile device. After having used it for a couple of days, I can confidently say it has changed the way I interact with my phone for the better. Perhaps it will do the same for you.

After you install the app on your mobile device or devices and log in from your desktop, you can start pushing text notes, addresses, lists, files (up to 10MB), and links immediately. From the Dashboard page, just pick which device you want to push to and choose a data type from the tabbed options. From there, all of the controls are intuitive. There’s a file browser for pushing files from your desktop to your phone, and there are simple text fields for the List, Address, Link, and Note options. For now, these are the only push-to options that PushBullet offers, but I suspect more will be added at some point. I’d also love to see some drag-and-drop functionality added to the site, which would make desktop-to-phone file transfers even easier.

When PushBullet pushes items to a mobile device, it generates notifications in the notification bar, each of which triggers a different action depending on its type. For instance, when you tap on a Note notification PushBullet opens up to a screen with the title and text of the note. Tap on a List notification, and the app opens up to a checklist interface that lets you cross off items. Link notifications open up in your browser of choice, and Address notifications open up in Google Maps. Finally, File notifications open up in the appropriate app for that particular file type. It’s important to note that files are, once pushed from your desktop, automatically downloaded onto your mobile device. This makes PushBullet a much more convenient option than, say, Dropbox or Gmail attachments for file transfers. For now, file size is limited to 10MB.

When it comes to performance, PushBullet is reliable and fast. In my tests, transmissions from desktop to mobile device occurred immediately, so long as my Android had an active data connection. And every pushed item also successfully made its way into my Android’s notification bar. This is perhaps PushBullet’s most important capability. Having pushed items fed to your notification bar keeps them at the front of your mind and prevents you from having to open up your app drawer to receive any transfers. You can, of course, clear any of PushBullet’s items from your notification bar as needed, and just as easily, you can add them to the bar again directly from the PushBullet app. This means you can actually use your notification bar as a handy reminder tool.

My biggest problem with the PushBullet Android app is its inability to push items from Android to desktop. As it is now, the mobile app can only be used to receive items. I can only hope that in the future, PushBullet will be able to push items back from Android to desktop and even between multiple Android devices. Sure, you can already work around this issue by accessing PushBullet through your mobile browser, but that shouldn’t stop PushBullet’s developers from building the function directly into the native app.

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