It's hard to overstate my love for AirDroid, the app that hosts a tiny, web-based interface for managing your phone with a desktop browser. And it just keeps getting better: the latest update has added notification mirroring, a la PushBullet and Notifications+. That means that once you enable the setting in AirDroid and Android, you'll get visual indications of incoming notifications on your AirDroid desktop.

2014-03-07 13.03.26 2014-03-07 13.03.37 2014-03-07 13.36.54

Enabling mirroring is easy - you'll get a prompt the first time you start the updated application, so all you have to do is check the box in the linked settings dialog. At the moment the service has some limits on its functionality, mostly because the alerts appear and disappear in a few seconds, and there's no way to scroll back through them - you'll just have to pick up your phone and check. There's also no audio alert, so if you don't have the AirDroid tab open, you won't get the notification on your computer. At the moment only notifications from Gmail, AirDroid, Hangouts, Google Play Music, and the Android system itself are supported.

Update: It looks like the option to show or hide notification types won't show up in the AirDroid settings menu until a new notification from that app appears while AirDroid is running. According to the developer, AirDroid can show all Android notifications on a desktop browser. Sorry for the confusion.

airdroid 1 airdroid 2

The latest update also adds a handy usability feature: you can now drag and drop files from Windows or OS X directly onto folders in the AirDroid file browser for an instant upload, so you don't need to bother with the dedicated upload tool anymore. Once you drop the file, it will instantly start the upload process. If you've got fast WiFi or wireless broadband, small files should go over the network quickly enough.

AirDroid is a free download for Android 2.2 or higher. It's free to use over WiFi, but accessing more than 100MB of data over the mobile network per month requires a premium subscription.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

    SInce I already use and love Pushbullet I won't be using the mirroring stuff, but the new drag and drop should be awesome!

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    • WORPspeed

      Exactly this. Love the Airdroid app it is one of my must-have apps on every device capable of running it. But so is Pushbullet and they just handle notification mirroring better imo. Still drag and drop will be much appreciated!

  • Deeco

    Making PushBullet obsolete?

    • andy_o

      Not even close. Pushbullet's desktop mirroring was added relatively recently IIRC. Before that it was still great.

    • vbz

      pushbullet is a lot more than desktop mirroring. for example, it can push files/links to your phone in a dead simple manner. it just introduced tasker integration. it can push stuff to other users of pushbullet. yeah, far from obsolete. I use both, and couldn't do without either!

  • Peter

    I wonder why nobody talks about Desktop Notifications. It doesn't have notification mirroring but it has extensions for Firefox and Chrome and supports Android 2.2+. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.hcilab.projects.notification

    • MJ

      Supporting Android 2.2 is a feature someone would actually need?

      • kabloink

        "2.2+" The plus being the important part. About 20% of android users are still on 2.x devices.

    • c00ller

      Compared to Pushbullet, Desktop Notifications is worse is every way:
      1) it doesn't have rich notifications
      2) all notifications use the generic Desktop Notification icon
      3) no ability to dismiss phone notifications/no syncing

  • Adrian

    Great Update!

  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

    The one thing preventing me from using AirDroid is the fact that after starting AirDroid on my phone and opening the interface on my desktop browser, if I switch to any other app on my phone, even a very small app with minimal footprint, AirDroid stops working and I have to switch back to AirDroid and connect again to make it work.

    EDIT - Damn, that entire thing is a single sentence.

    • Kevin Vesga

      Do you launch the AirDroid app or just use the widget? I would try the latter.

      • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

        I launch the app. Will try the widget method.

        • Kevin Vesga

          Any feedback? I'm curious if you got it to work.

          • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

            Aah, you are following up. You just unlocked "I like this dev" achievement.

            Yes, the widget method seems to be working better. When I started a session via the widget, it didn't get disconnected / didn't time out while I watched 2 youtube videos on my phone. That brings me to this question - does the widget keep the service running in the background while if the service is started through the app without the widget, it gets killed after sometime?

          • Kevin Vesga

            I think you are correct. Typically apps rely on a notification icon to help prevent Android from deciding to kill the app.

          • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

            That I know; but I don't think that's the issue here since when I start the service via the app, that also opens a sticky notification in the notification shade.

          • Kevin Vesga

            I think you may get a better answer from the AirDroid dev. Perhaps the app being killed is a bug?

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

    Can't say enough about how great this app is. They even gave me a year's worth of premium for recommending the drag and drop feature.