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.


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.

The app was not found in the store. :-(