30
Sep
pushbullet

A note from the editors: This is a guest post by Ryan Oldenburg, the original creator of PushBullet.

I've left my job to work full time on PushBullet. Two of my friends are joining me. Now the question is: how much can we build, and how fast?

PushBullet’s going to be the easiest and fastest way to get things on and off your phone and tablet. So far this means pushing yourself files, links, notes, to-do lists, and addresses that instantly show up in your notification tray. Going forward, we’ve got even bigger ambitions. One personal mission of mine is to make it so you never have to email yourself again. Emailing yourself sucks.

I’ve decided to leave my job at Hipmunk and focus entirely on PushBullet because of how much people like what I’m building and how much it’s being used. So far, PushBullet has been used to push almost 750,000 things, and the number grows every day. The best part is that I’m not going to be working alone, either — two of my best friends and fellow developers are also leaving their jobs to join me.

So, who are we?

ryanI’m Ryan Oldenburg, and I've been an Android developer and user for over 4 years now. I grew up in Madison, WI and currently live in San Francisco.

My daily driver is a white Galaxy S4 running Cyanogenmod 10.1.3, and my favorite app at the moment has got to be the YouTube app. I spend hours just flicking the video up and down. Or maybe Greenify, so I can shut down apps that eat way too much battery.

When I’m not programming, I watch way too much sports.

 

My partners on PushBullet are Chris Hesse and Andre von Houck.

chrisChris is the Python genius programming PushBullet's servers. He grew up in Louisiana and went to school in Colorado.

His daily driver is an HTC One Google Play Edition. It's his first Android phone after I saved him from the dark side. He’ll be writing about his experiences coming to the light very soon.

In his spare time, he builds desks that weigh even more than they look like they weigh, plays Disc golf, and idolizes Jonathan Blow.  

 

andreAndre is our Real Programmer, and he lives in the future. He works on a Chromebook Pixel and programs entirely over the web with an editor he put together himself. We say he lives in the future because someday all programmers might program like he does, or they may not. We'll just have to wait and find out.

His daily driver is still an iPhone but that's only because he hasn't had time to get an Android phone. Or so he says.

He spends his spare time playing an Elon Musk’s life simulator.

 

What have we done so far?

Even though the three of us have only worked together on PushBullet for a few weeks, you can already see the progress we've made on the redesigned PushBullet website, improved Chrome and Firefox extensions, and the updated Android app. Going from one part-time developer to three full-time developers has radically increased the speed at which we can improve PushBullet.

What’s new in the app?

redesign

We’ve redesign the entire app from bottom to top and have added three huge improvements. The first is a homescreen and lockscreen widgets. Widgets are uniquely Android, and I’ve been wanting to add them for a while now. They’re great for quickly accessing pushes that aren’t necessarily in your notification tray any longer without having to open the app.

files

We’ve also added the ability to push files. This means you’ll see PushBullet as an option in many more Share dialogs, including when sharing pictures from the gallery or files from file management apps. This is huge improvement to the Share intent integration that started in the last update, and we’re only going to make it better.

drawer

The final big improvement is that you can now access any of the things you’ve pushed on any of your devices from anywhere. To access this list, just open the drawer and change to the All Pushes view. We’ve had a lot of people asking for this because, for example, they might end up wanting a link on their phones that was pushed to their tablets or vice versa.

Cool, so what’s coming next?

Our focus now is adding the feature everyone’s been dying for: push-to-Chrome. It's going to make PushBullet even more indispensable than it is now, and we’re going to hit it out of the park.

Push-to-Chrome is so important because it'll do for getting things off of your phone what PushBullet's already done for getting them on your phone, which is make it easier and faster than it’s ever been. You’ll be able to push links, notes, even files right to your computer from anywhere in the world without having to hook up your phone or resort to awkwardly emailing yourself.

Being able to push to Chrome makes the Share intent integration we’ve been working on really pay off. It also highlights how powerful the Android intent system is because without it, we wouldn’t have been able to make it so easy to push from any of your apps.

What about after push-to-Chrome?

After push-to-Chrome, we’re going to significantly improve pushing to other people. Right now, everyone has to manually share individual devices with each other, which is very tedious. We want to make this process simpler. You shouldn’t have to think about which device of a friends that you’re pushing to, you just want to send something to a friend. We want it to be as easy for you as typing in your friend’s name or email address. We can then handle pushing it to whichever of their devices are active and then sync the notification’s dismissal using Android’s new notification sync to make sure they don’t see it twice.

When all of these features are complete, PushBullet will not only be the easiest way to get things on and off your own Android devices, it'll also be the best way to send things to friends. What's more, we think pushing Chrome-to-Chrome between friends can really change the game altogether. It's all going to be damn cool, and we’re excited to build it.

Great, but you left your jobs — so how are you going to make money?

PushBullet is free to use and we’re going to keep it that way. It is true though that since we’ve left our jobs, we are going to need to support ourselves. Fortunately, we’ve got a plan that’ll make both of these things possible. In the meantime we’re going to just live like poor college students again to make our savings last while we get everything up and running.

Excited about what’s coming? Think we’re crazy? We’ll be chatting in the comments below or you can reach us anytime at hey@pushbullet.com.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    PushBullet is amazing.

    But it pales in comparison with Andre and his blog http://animatedandre.tumblr.com/.

    • treeform

      Its just the quintessence of my personality.

  • Joris Griffioen

    I saw those screens and immediately rushed to GPlay to update the app! Damn fine work gentlemen!

    About the money: as a first step, why not add a donate app to Google Play for Pushbullet? (that maybe could provide premium features in the future) I'd definitely drop a couple bucks to support you guys!

    • guzba

      Thanks a lot and glad to hear it! (Ryan here)

      • Mike Harris

        I think all of us appreciate that you're not here looking for donations, but there are lots of us who would like to send you something for your work. I've been using PushBullet for a while now and love its responsiveness (I used chrome2phone previously and would sometimes have to wait for a while for links to come through) and I would really like to donate.

        I'm not going to force you to take my money if you're adamantly against the idea, but if it's not too much trouble, can you tell us how to donate?

        • Bloodflame87

          Agreed. I've been a happy PB user since it's very early days of development (wasn't there an alpha thread on XDA before it was even in the Play Store? I seem to recall something like that), and this app has come a LONG way since then. I would be happy to send a few bucks your way as my way of showing appreciation for all your hard work. You deserve it!

    • Giampaolo

      I definitely support the donate button!

    • BangIShotYou

      You aren't alone. The day the app was first released and when I stumbled upon it I've been using it. Honestly, I love that it's free to use, but if there was a paid version I'd be all over that. It's one of the few non-Google apps that I use literally every day and pretty much dozens of times (at least) throughout the day. I'd gladly shell out $5 for it, likely more.

      But a donate app through Google Play for it would work just as well.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/doomstang Doomstang

    I hope they don't plan on robbing a bank for cash....that could really hurt development of the app.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Only if they get caught.

      • Justin Foster

        *in my CSI Miami voice* It looks like WE...*puts on sunglasses* have an escape plan.. *theme music*

        • horatio

          YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

      • Kostas

        Yes, because extremely rich developers would develop all the time from there on :P

  • Booyabobby

    Awesome app guys. Keep up the good work.

  • Meir

    It's really hard to read this article when there is a gif that bring me nausea. I also think that it can cause seizure at people who suffer from Epilepsy.

    • treeform

      Imagine how i felt. Think of how horrible it is to spin like that for other people's entertainment. I could have died. Its inhumane.

      • Nathaniel Webb

        I like this guy.

        • treeform

          I like you too.

    • http://BeyondChronic.com/ Old Hippie

      Only if it was flashing.

  • Nathaniel Webb

    came for the article, stayed for the .gif

    • treeform

      The proper combination of angular momentum and that flailing neck, and that little neck snap that make people squirm was as purely accidental on purpose.

    • Mike Harris

      Really? I mean, I liked the article too, but I wouldn't call it orgasmic.

  • Jachym Kokesh Lukes

    Amazing app!

  • David

    I'm actually interested to see the editor Andre put together himself.

  • Martin Karim

    Guys I hope this will work for you, but in general working with friends is not so good idea...

    • guzba

      We met as coworkers so we've basically always worked together. The only difference now is that we work for each other. I totally agree though that it can be difficult if you haven't worked together before.

  • cabbiebot

    so its basically 2cloud meets chrome-to-mobile meets dropbox meets pocket?

    • guzba

      Sounds like a recipe for world domination to me :P

      In all honestly though, PushBullet's spot is to be an easier way to do a very common thing, which is: I want something on one of my pieces of technology onto a different one. It shouldn't be hard, but before we came along there were a million different ways to do it depending on what it was. We're going to make it simple and fast.

      • cabbiebot

        how big are the files that can be pushed? will there be a monthly data transfer cap? most enterprise-grade file transfer applications/plugins do, from my research. Also, will it be encrypted end-to-end?

        • guzba

          Great questions! Right now the file cap is 10 MB (tiny, I know) but we're going to increase that rapidly while considering storage and transfer costs. Oh and yep, everything is already encrypted end-to-end :)

          We've got a lot of work ahead of us for sure, we're just stoked to really get started.

          • selonmoi

            I think it would be a very good idea to publicize your use of encryption on your site.

            Even though your app looks awesome, I didn't install it yet, as I didn't see any information about how you transfer my data, if you retain it, and how you might use it in the future.

            Of note: You have a privacy policy on your site that only talks about the most incidental data, not the important stuff: the links, notes, and files people send using your service!

            How you'll use my data is a really big deal to me, and I'd imagine it is to many other potential users, too.

            Best of luck with the app! Hope the full-timing works out!

          • RitishOemraw

            You should look into places from ANSAMB, maybe you could work together?

          • http://BeyondChronic.com/ Old Hippie

            I hope you folks will set up one of those "dead man's switch" web pages that will indicate if you've been compromised by the government with a security order. Because when you get more successful, they'll be coming after you too!

          • http://dr3do.me/ dr3do

            Could you please write more about how "transport encryption" is implemented in Pushbullet?

  • Grimmjow

    Nice to see AP giving passionate devs a platform to talk to the community. Guys - since pushing files appears to be one of your important use cases, right now it isn't easier than sending a self email. The chrome extension cannot send file, i need to go to your website for that. May i also suggest considering a Windows application so i can directly send files through the file explorer.

    With that being said, not only is the app well designed, you have a vision and clearly sending and sharing things b/w devices and people is a big opportunity. Best of luck.

    • guzba

      Thanks a lot for the feedback and support. I totally agree that pushing files isn't that great right now, like you said, we know how to make it better.

      • Da_James

        You may consider peeking into FilePush way of doing things, that right click wonder is very usefull as well.

      • Lalit Mali

        On the topic of a windows application, do consider Chrome apps for desktop if that can make it easier to avail the functionality on Linux and Mac as well

  • Brad

    I've been looking for the opposite of my chrome to phone plugin... I'll give it a try!

  • Zak Taccardi

    What would be great would be, from Windows Explorer, is to right click a file and be able to push it anywhere.

  • Rohan Dhruva

    The latest update deleted all my old pushes. Many users on reddit are reporting this issue too.

    • guzba

      Yeah, I've heard that and am looking into it. Don't worry too much though, your old pushes aren't actually gone since you haven't deleted them. I'll have a bugfix update out soon that'll fix this.

      • http://BeyondChronic.com/ Old Hippie

        And, they're back!

  • Byung-Hoon Cho

    What about integration with OS X? You could take advantage of the "Share" function. That would be awesome

  • GryphKid44

    This sounds great. Any plans on the ability to push folders?

    • guzba

      Pushing multiple files is something we're looking into. It'll be after phone-to-Chrome though if we move on it.

  • http://www.gundamaustralia.com/ cameron charles

    love push bullet and have always wanted a phone to x feature so this is great news!

  • Jaymoon

    Push to friends is what I'll be waiting for. Nice app though!

  • Gabriel J. Araujo

    Dudes, you.. You! Where can I donate to make sure you can drink like vikings, you magnificent bastards!

  • mlj11

    Hi, thanks for this post. I'm experiencing a problem with PB:

    I recently got the new 2013 Nexus 7 to replace my 2012 model and activated PB on it. Unfortunately the auto name the app gave it was "Nexus 7" - exactly the same as my old model. I changed the names on pushbullet.com but changes weren't reflected in-app, nor on the webpage after refreshing.

    I decided to uninstall the app on my new tablet until I sold off the old one. I then attempted to remove the new entry on pushbullet.com but that didn't work. I attempted the whole procedure twice, and now I have 2 entries for my new tablet (despite the app not currently being installed on it) and 1 entry for my old one on pushbullet.com. I see now that the name changes have been reflected in-app though.

    How do I fully remove the 2 new entries?

    • guzba

      You can remove them using the 'x' button on the far right of the device row on the website. If you click it, a button will appear that says "Delete this device" and then the duplicates will go away. (The ones with the lowest IDs will be your older/bad devices.)

      • mlj11

        Thanks for the quick reply. I've been doing exactly that, numerous times, over the past couple of days. The entries will disappear, but make an appearance again after a page refresh. Additionally the entries also show up in-app on my phone even after deleting.

        I'm not sure why, but my changes aren't being saved.

        I'll try again later when I can get on my desktop.

        • guzba

          Yeah there was an issue yesterday. We've had some growing pains lately, thanks for understanding :)

          • mlj11

            Hi, no worries. I know how it is :-)

            I just checked - the changes finally took. A suggestion, if you don't mind: I think it'd be great if the app allowed you to choose the name of your devices, rather than needing us to change them on the website.

            Btw I experienced another problem a couple months back. I'll try to describe it as best as I can remember... I was pushing a few pdf files from my pc to my device. Those files had very long names (they were hotel booking confirmations that were sent to my email) - they were so long that when I tried downloading them via my device's Gmail app, Android didn't even recognise them as pdf files because the .pdf file extension got cut off or something. Hence I downloaded them on pc and used PB to push.

            What happened next was terrible. PB started to push the files to my device, but I think it couldn't verify that they had been delivered successfully because when the files reached my device, Android wasn't able to recognise their full names and shortened them. So I think PB couldn't match the file names, and thus it kept trying to send the same files to me repeatedly. I ended up receiving hundreds of these "junk" files, and only managed to stop it by uninstalling the app.

            Not sure if you've heard of this problem before, or whether it's already fixed as of this latest release. It's a nasty one though.

          • guzba

            Wow yeah thats a nasty situation I've never seen before. Thanks for reporting it so I can make sure it doesn't happen to more people :)

  • Ben

    I get a 404 Not Found when I try and push a file from the chrome extension. It looks lie the link to their site is broken via the extension?

    • guzba

      We've fixed the 404. Thanks for reporting it!

  • clankfu

    Awesome work guys. I would also support a donate version.

  • HugoMathee

    I get this screen for like half a second, then it goes back to the "Never e-mail yourself again" screen

    • Adam

      Same here... endless loop

      • guzba

        Sorry about that, we've fixed the issue :)

    • guzba

      Sorry about that. This bug should be fixed now :)

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    i just hope they change the logo... it just doesn't blend nicely with the action bar

  • http://temefy.com/ Puneet Singh

    Heyy guys, PushBullet is an amazing app. I had been looking for a simple solution to move text clips and images, even URLs from my PC/Lappy, when I came upon this app. This is the perfect solution. Very easy to use and not as heavy as Airdroid. Plus it gives deirect links in NotifBar.. Cool Work Guys. And HatsOff to AndroidPolice to give the developers a direct access to the community and vice-versa.

    One more thing guys, do you have something planned like a windows/mac - app/program that could be always running in background with a floating icon, anything could be pushed to device when dragged to the floating icon. On click the icon could reveal further optios to send texts/URLs.. If you have something like this planned... AWESOME..!!! If not, then maybe this could give you an idea..!!

  • ds

    What about Push-to-Firefox?

  • Rehaan

    Love PushBullet! The ability to turn off the mention in Chrome context menus would be appreciated though...

  • Robertof

    I really hope you don't leave Firefox alone! :D

  • rekenaar

    been using pushbullet for few months on my s3, but other device running gingerbread. Any possibility to provide a gingerbread (lite) version?

  • Elva lemke

    just harry implied i am surprised - that a­ny pe­rs­on ­c­a­n p­ro­f­its $­9546 per m­o­nt­h ­o­n the internet as freel­an­c­er.. di­d u see this page?.. BIG44.­co­m

  • Freak4Dell

    Push-to-Chrome sounds great, but please don't ignore FireFox. I realize Chrome is the cool thing to use these days, but some of us old fogies are still using FireFox. FireFox Sync helps alleviate the problem, but it'd be nice for PushBullet to be full featured.

  • Dan

    psstt.... Artem... put a play store link at the bottom of the article. Some of us really are that lazy.

  • s427

    I'm really looking forward to use the "Push-to-Chrome" feature, although as a Firefox user, I hope that when you say "Push-to-Chrome", you really mean "Push-to-browser". (Compatible browsers anyway.)

  • Yarian Gomez

    Somebody tell Ryan that watching Bronze League Heroes doesn't qualify as "a lot of sports".

  • Kevin

    Is there a setting to change the download folder to the external sd card? If not, are there any plans to implement that?

  • yoda

    waiting for integration with OS X
    btw nice work on the app :)

  • Specterx

    has anyone looked at the terms of service or privacy policy? It's downright frightening to read. They have access to so much of your data and personal information with this app. The terms of service and privacy policy are only posted on their web site and they change them frequently and they say it is your responsibility to keep up with the changes. They also say that if you continue to use their services after a change in policy that you have agreed to the changes. How the hell can you agree with changes in policy you have never seen?! They can push a notification to you when policies change, but they don't. That screams to me that they don't want you to see the policy changes. No free apps are free, they get their money somehow. In this case it will be selling your personal data, and they will have LOTS of it. Beware before installing! Don't let them steal your personal information.

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