18
Jul
unnamed

Phones are always begging for attention – emails, text messages, app updates, and so on. Ideally, you might like to see what's going on in your devices without picking it up while hard at work. Krome for Android does just that with the aid of a desktop Chrome extension.

2013-07-18 15.25.35 2013-07-18 15.33.22

2013-07-18 16.04.23 2013-07-18 16.17.18 2013-07-18 16.18.31

To get this set up, all you need to do is install the $0.99 Android app, then grab the free Chrome extension from the Google Web Store. The app on your mobile device will have you enable accessibility access so it can read notifications. Then it gives you a long alphanumeric code to enter on the desktop, and you're done. Krome will start replicating all your notifications on the desktop as a small popup window in the corner. And I mean all your notifications.

Literally anything that hits the notification bar will be pushed over to the desktop. Even persistent notifications that refresh will show up. Additionally, some of these will pop up with strangely corrupted text (probably UI elements that don't transfer to text). There is a way to fix this, but it's a bit tedious. In the app, you have a column with all your installed apps – this includes system components you probably don't see much of. All you need to do is go down the list and uncheck the ones you want ignored.

not1 not2

An example of a service you want shut off is the download manager. Otherwise every time you download something (like an app), you will get a desktop notification for every single refresh of that notification. When this happened to me it completely clogged the pipes and it took about 10 minutes for all the installation notifications to cycle out. I also really don't need to be notified when I take a screenshot on the phone that I'm obviously holding (that's the system UI).

not4 no3

After some pruning of apps, Krome works pretty well. It imports the app icons and pulls whatever text is in the notification bar over to your computer. It's a little slow – about 8-10 seconds delayed from the device. There have been a few instances where it failed to notify me, but it has worked well otherwise.

Most of these notifications don't do anything special, but the way SMS is handled could be very useful. The SMS popup comes with a button to reply to the message. The Chrome extension will open a little window, and you can type the reply before routing it back through the phone. It works as intended on my device. Krome is far from the only service that does this, but it also has the other notification stuff going on.

sms2 sms

The Krome Android app also keeps a log of the notifications it sends so you can make sure things are being detected properly. The desktop client keeps a similar log, which you can clear out whenever you want. It also includes "do not disturb" settings if your phone is really blowing up and you can't deal with it.

ui

If you're a bit uneasy about sending all your notifications through the internet, there is an encryption key (still in beta). Just input a key in the app and desktop client to keep your stuff secure. The code generated for you is the default, but you can choose your own as well.

Krome is still brand new, so functionality is a little light. What it can already do is pretty impressive, though. It will be cool to see where it goes from here, but don't expect a perfect experience out of the box.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

  • dtraini30

    Just got this today, it is really neat. Worth the small amount of cash!

  • Abhijeet Mishra

    The severs are having problems handling too many requests right now so I haven't been able to try it out since I bought it a few hours back, but the dev says it should be fixed soon. Great app though, neat idea that I've heard works quite well. Can't wait for those servers to get fixed (probably just affecting new users like me that are trying to sign in for the first time).

    • Justin W

      I'd suggest refunding it and going with Android Notifications. It's free and provides the same general notifications in Chrome (oh, it's also free).

      • Alekh Khanna

        Did the same. Android Notifications works perfectly ! :D

        • Justin W

          Only downside I've seen is that you don't see the notification's picture as you would with this, and you can't directly reply to SMS (but if you have Voice, you can still do that through the web). Neither of those features are really, IMO, worth the .99.

  • markg

    Or save 99p and get the identical free app desktop notifications

    • Hilman in Edmonton

      I agree, why pay 99 cents when Android Desktop Notifications is free!

      • ltredbeard

        ADN doesn't work with the Nexus 4 but Krome does, so there is that.

        • Hilman in Edmonton

          That's interesting since Android Desktop Notifications works with my Nexus 4.

          • Mark

            Mine too.

          • ltredbeard

            It won't let me download it and says its not compatable with my device.

    • http://twitter.com/MortalKastor Kastor

      And, unlike Krome, Android Desktop Notifications works with Firefox.

    • LiiIiikEaBau5

      Stop being greedy! 99p is nothing! Support the dev and enjoy!

      • zevral

        well i just bought krome... and it doesnt work. It doesnt connect.. no idea why. Great little App for just 99ct.

        Btw Android Desktop Notification actually works fine.

        And yes, i have rich notifications enabled, and everything set up just right!

    • http://jasonanddarci.com jason

      Sounds like a paid review to me not disclosed as such. Sketchy, AP. smh

    • c00ller

      Hmm, unfortunately you can't call it identical. I just tested it out and every single desktop alert shows the same, generic Desktop Notification icon regardless of which app created the notification, and the text notifications don't let you reply directly to it like Krome seems to do. I don't really care about the texting thing, but this really needs to show each app's individual icons to be really useful (did I get a text message or email?).

    • didibus

      Can you reply to SMS directly from the computer notification?

  • nawa

    Someone in the comments of *another Android site* pointed out that you can download this, which does mostly the same for free. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.hcilab.projects.notification

    • ltredbeard

      Great tip, but just FYI it doesn't work with the Nexus 4

      • MarkG

        Yes it does.

        • ltredbeard

          I just went to get a Screenshot to show what the web version of the play store said and now it says it is compatible.

      • Stephan Sch

        Not true. It does work with the Nexus 4. I use it myself. This extension was developed by a german university. And its a pitty.. But I just diff'ed apk and crx sources. Krome is a shameless one-by-one ripp-off of Desktop Notifications. Will report to Google.

        • Matthew Fry

          Send the evidence to Artem or Ryan.

          • Stephan Sch

            Will send them tomorrow (when back on desktop). Night.

    • Mastermind26

      Since the free app does "mostly" the same, what are the things that is doesn't do???

      • nawa

        Icon in notification is not of the notifying app, it's the same for app notifications. I'm also not sure about SMS, I didn't test it.

        • Mastermind26

          thanks for that. If those are the only limitations, then this IS a MUCH better option!

  • Hunter Richardson

    This app is incompatible with your device.

    • http://www.mojdroid.pl www.mojdroid.pl

      I will fix that soon.
      Damian

      • Hunter Richardson

        My device is a Nexus 7, not rooted.
        I'd appreciate it.

  • ltredbeard

    It took me awhile to figure out what readed meant

    • IrishSid

      He meant red.

  • Grimmjow

    This is not going to work on 4.3.

  • BigNem

    I love how in one screen shot they blur their phone # bit the other they dont...

  • AK

    This is great, but I really want something like a 'MyPhoneExplorer' type program I used to use with my BB.

    Ability to manage contacts/files, send/reply to SMS/WhatsApp etc all via the program.

    • Guest

      Yeah, you will maybe need something more expensive, like, an Android phone?

      Kidding aside, if you are in BB10 there is probably something like that, however the BB App Store is dissapointing compared with Android sadly.

      • MasterMuffin

        He ment that he wants a similar program that he had back in when he had a BB device...

        • AK

          what this guy said

    • Ark

      most of that can be done with airdroid.

      • AK

        Heard a lot about that, never actually got around to trying. Will check it out, thanks.

        • Justin W

          I tried it with my Nexus 4 once. The webportal (looks similar to a desktop) didn't work well over data (it was still very slow over a WiFi connection), so I uninstalled. I might give it a try again to see if it's improved, but I like how AndroidNotifications works. It's like a heads-up, you've got a message. Besides that, my SMS goes through Voice, so I can still use a webportal to reply.

  • herbivoor

    Not compatible with Nexus 7? Gotta love exchange rates, only €.50 in the EU app store.

  • Derik Taylor

    Quick question, hopefully someone can figure this out. Where I work they image the computers once a week so I have to set up Chrome at least once a week. Does anyone know if the app will need to be reconfigured for every instance of Chrome or will it work across multiple devices?

    • Nathan Borup

      I imagine all you would need to do is sign into the chrome on your computers at work

    • Justin W

      My experience with Chrome extensions is that most follow your sign-in (actually, the only one that hasn't yet is IETab2.0). I think you'd need the alphanumeric key, but I just copied that and sent it to my e-mail so it's a quick copy-paste job.

    • Derik Taylor

      Well I ended up buying the app and it is working pretty well, and once you have entered the code it does seem to sync across all your Chrome devices, so there is little configuration. It does seem to have a bug where it gives the option to reply to sms but it does not actually send it to your phone to send out. Hoping that works soon. Everything else works fine though.

  • miri

    This is the third one I've tried and none of them work :(

    EDIT: nvm, the first notification just took it's sweet time to get to my laptop.

  • miri

    "The desktop client keeps a similar log, which you can clear out whenever you want. It also includes "do not disturb" settings if your phone is really blowing up and you can't deal with it."

    If you're referring to the screenshot below, that's Chrome's native notification center, not anything to do with the app in specific.

  • TSON1

    this app is actually too pretty.

  • Trenton Seagoe

    Wish they had something like this for Firefox.

  • bob

    will buy it, when the ability to reply hangouts and whatsapp messages is added.

  • http://www.mojdroid.pl www.mojdroid.pl

    Hello.
    Im developer of this app.

    IF you have strange chars in notifications, that is encryption problem. This is in beta, and somethimes works strange.
    Also, I have problems with server now. I have so many requests right now, that my server stops to respond. Sorry for issues, but it will work soon.

    Damian

    • Leonardo Baez

      hi, you should do a free (limited) edition to test it before buy.

      • http://www.mojdroid.pl www.mojdroid.pl

        I will, but I have so big problems right now that... :(

        Servers are still down and Im working on it, but I dont know when it will work normally.
        Sorry for that :(

        • momentai

          Hi,
          I just tried it, but had to refund (not working >.<)
          have you thought about moving that server processing to a third party service like the amazon cloud stuff or others? May help with the server load.

          • http://www.mojdroid.pl www.mojdroid.pl

            Write email to me, please.

            And fix is coming, update will be in hour or so.

          • momentai

            In that case, I'll buy it again in a bit :)
            Good luck with the fix.

    • raw666

      @w.mojdroid.pl No offense but I don't think ur giving urself good plublicity, but hey as the saying goes - NO such thing as bad plublicity.

      But hey do we trust bald hairdressers? don't know why I said it but ur avatar made me do it =)

      • http://www.mojdroid.pl www.mojdroid.pl

        What can I say... This how it looks today, nothing to hide.

        • meelyg

          Honesty is the best publicity, raw666 never studied marketing

    • zevral

      krome doesnt work for me, even though i have done everything correct (enabled rich notifications, enabled it in the android settings). My Desktop App says its connected, but my phone says its not connected even though i entered the correct code.

      Also, i cant disconnect in my Desktop App, it just doesnt do anything at all, still says its connected when clearly it is not.

      Any solutions?

  • Andrei Susanu

    I've just purchased this app for my Nexus 4 and it crashed during the initial setup.
    I've requested a refund. :(.

  • Stéphane BODOVSKY

    Doesn't work for now, I'm waiting, looks great !

  • Inha1966

    What happened to the app, it's not on Google Play anymore?

  • Tom Kidron

    Hey,
    i can't install the crx from the chrome web store.
    Any chance of getting a direct link to the crx, so i can manually install it?

  • Dany Bouffard

    I wanted to get this and tried it, cause it seemed good, but it does not find my device.

  • Laurence Eckert

    Works really well, would just like more actionable notifications