One of the many issues with Google's latest messaging app, Allo, is the total lack of a desktop application. Picking up my phone to respond to a message, when I'm already at my computer with a physical keyboard, seems silly. Allo 2.0, released yesterday, added the ability to quick reply from the notifications. Today's Pushbullet update taps into the quick reply functionality to add Allo support. Read More
Pushbullet, despite some unpopular pricing changes, still remains one of my favorite Android applications. I use it every day on multiple devices, but Mac owners haven't been lucky enough to receive an official client. Your only choices until recently have been to use the Chrome extension (which requires Chrome to always run in the background) or a paid third-party client called PushPal.
There's still not an official client for macOS, but Noti was released recently. Noti is a free and open-source Pushbullet client, designed specifically for macOS. You can respond and take action on notifications, just like with the Chrome extension, but Noti uses the macOS Notification Center instead of the ugly Chrome notifications. Read More
There was a bit of a dust-up the other day when Pushbullet began sending out some scary-sounding emails to users. The emails explained that a few services making very heavy use of the Pushbullet API were going to be blocked. Today, Pushbullet has decided to change its approach to coping with this problem after getting feedback form users. Nothing will be blocked, but there will be a new API push limit for free accounts. Read More
Join, by joaomgcd of many Tasker plugins and automation apps fame, has been in beta for nearly two months now. When I tried it out at launch, it already had a lot of its functionality covered, allowing your phones and computers to share things with each other: links, SMS messages, screenshots, media files, copied text, and more. The app has been getting frequent updates since then, adding Tasker integration and making it possible to send SMS from any browser without the need for a Chrome extension. You could say that Pushbullet's little brother has grown up to actually compete against it. Read More
When Pushbullet introduced its pro plan, some folks walked away upset. For some of them, Join from Tasker-plugin maker extraordinaire Joaomgcd was just the ticket. The service doesn't quite stack up feature per feature, but it does a decent job of handling the basics. Read More
Pushbullet began as a quick way to send files, links, and other data from one device to another. Along the way, the team took the infrastructure it had in place and introduced instant messaging (through a phone using SMS). Last month the feature grew to include group conversations. Today, the service has evolved to support sending picture messages. Read More
Pushbullet added two small, but useful, new features this morning. First, replying to group SMS from a computer or tablet is now (finally) supported. In a small gesture of holiday goodwill, Pushbullet won't count group SMS messages against the 100 message limit for non-paying users for the rest of the month.
Group texting is now available through Pushbullet's Chrome extension, Windows desktop app, and Pushbullet's website. Support for Safari, Opera, and Firefox is coming soon. Replying to group texts also requires a phone running Android 5.0 and above.
The second change Pushbullet added this morning pertains to the new remote files feature that was added earlier this month. Read More
Pushbullet is rolling out the first big feature addition since the announcement of the pro plan, and it seems rather cool. Remote Files lets you connect to any of your Pushbullet devices and download files from anywhere at any time. Everyone can use the feature, but pro users get more functionality. Read More
Around the Android corners, joaomgcd is known for his automation tools, most of which rely on heavy Tasker integration and require a level of tinkering that most of us lazy people can't bother with. So when Joao released his new app Join and the featureset seemed to closely mirror Pushbullet's upon close inspection, I was intrigued. Not just because of Pushbullet's latest switch to Pro plans, but because the main selling point of the service was its simplicity. That has not been Joao's strong suit — at least through a newbie's eyes, his apps always seemed a little too overwhelming.
So could Join break the mould and stand out as a capable and simple alternative to Pushbullet? Read More