When you receive a text message or an app update is available or someone gave you a missed call on your android phone or tablet, you get corresponding notifications about the event. Now if you are someone who passes most of the working times on PC and don’t have time to check out the phone every time you receive a notification, getting those notifications wirelessly directly to PC desktop or browser would be extremely great. It saves your time and you can concentrate on your work and still getting to know who is texting you or what app got something for you or who is that caller. This is very useful if your phone isn’t nearby.
There are several Android apps to mirror notifications with desktop. Most of this apps are made to work with your desktop browsers. Viewing your Android notification through browser is more convenient and efficient because you don’t have to load extra standalone program with your OS. I’ve tested many apps and found great five apps to share here. Most of these apps don’t requires you connected to same network. All works seamlessly over the air.
1. Desktop Notifications
Previously I’ve shared about monitoring android notifications using “Desktop Notifications” app. This is a very lightweight app which will send your phone notification to PC desktop using Chrome or Firefox. So you need to install a browser companion extension to make the service work.
- Cost: Free.
- Desktop Companion: Firefox and Chrome.
- Extra Features: Enabling Wi-fi only, filtering apps, control notification duration.
- Configuration: Easy.
I have written detailed guide on using this app.
Pushbullet is a geek friendly tool which can forward Android notifications right to your Browser. Pushbullet was originally made to sharing notes and links between phones (both iOS and Android) and browsers (Windows tool also available) easily. Later they added notification mirroring feature which I started to use right after the launch. I my experience, Pushbullet is the easiest to configure among the apps here since it requires you only to authenticate to the same google account on browser and phone.
To enable mirroring service, go to Settings on Pushbullet Android app. Enable the app’s accessibility service. Now install Pushbullet browser extension (links provided below). Then login with same google account. Now configure Pushbullet as below to work even when chrome windows is closed (Chrome requires running in background even if you close every tab).
- Cost: Free.
- Desktop Companion: Chrome, Firefox and Windows.
- Extra Features: Sharing contents between Phone and Desktop, on or off for specific apps, WiFi only mode etc.
If you are also a sharing geek who always need to share links, notes, photos among Phone, Browser and Windows, Pushbullet might the easiest solution.
Just like Desktop Notifications, Notification+ is a very simple app to receive android notification on Browser. Unlike Desktop Notifications, you need to use your google account and a browser password to configure this app. So you need a browser companion extension too.
- Cost: Free and Paid services.
- Desktop companion: Chrome browser.
- Extra Features: Multiple Device support, filters, dismiss to click, WiFi only mode etc.
Both Pushbullet and Notifications+ uses Google Cloud messaging to deliver notification to Browser.
This list would be incomplete without AirDroid. It’s not necessarily built to mirror Android notifications with browser. Rather AirDroid is built to manage your your android device wirelessly no matter where your device is. But here, our need with AirDroid is, its Notification forwarding service. Unlike the above apps, you browser tab need to remain open with web.airdroid.com open(with the active connection to the device). Right now you won’t able to receive phone notification if the tab to that address is closed.
To activate this feature, head to Settings in AirDroid Android app, Enable Notification service. Then visit web.airdroid.com login with same account you used in AirDroid app. Then enable desktop notification as below.
Now as long as your device is connected to internet and your web AirDroid tab is open or minimized in browser, you will get notifications of your phone on desktop.
- Cost: Free and paid services.
- Companion: Web based (all desktop browsers).
- Cons: Not a background service on desktop side.
- Extra Features: Huge control over phone wirelessly from web UI.
DeskNotifier is another app built to send your phone notifications to desktop via a Windows application. So unlike the above apps, it’s not a browser based service. Currently your phone and PC need to be connected to the same WiFi network or via USB cable. I had bad luck making this work – but you can still give it a try.
- Cost: Free and Pro versions.
- Desktop Companion: Windows application.
- Cons: Requires Java runtime installed, WiFi and USB only, not browser based.
6. Android Notifier
Android Notifier is another app similar to DeskNotifier. You need a PC software to make it work. Over the years it got less updates and I, myself didn’t test it. What makes it different from others is it’s an open-source tool, PC extension is available for Mac and Linux too and works with bluetooth too. You can have a detailed look at Lifehacker written by Whitson Gordon in 2010.
- Cost: Free, Open Source.
- Desktop Companion: Windows, Mac and Linux program.
- Cons: WiFi and Bluetooth only, Needs a little bit setup, less updates.
If you are confused what app to choose from, try either of Desktop Notifications or Push Bullet. So never miss a notification if your Android Phone or Tablet is away. Here, first four apps works with browsers so no matter which PC OS you are using. They should work on Mac, Linux and Chromebook too. Fifth and sixth apps work with desktop software, not browser. Tell us about your experience.