Notification service Pushbullet recently updated with IFTTT support, following Tasker integration last month. That’s a lot of our favourite words together in a single sentence. Naturally, it’s a good time to take a look at some of the best uses for Pushbullet.
What You Get Out Of The Box
In case you haven’t heard of Pushbullet (it’s still relatively new, so it’s hard to blame you), there’s a lot of functionality you get right out of the box. To get started, there are a few downloads you can install, depending on where you want to get or send notifications from:
Pushbullet also utilises Chrome’s rich notification system to show you notifications that have been mirrored from your device (more on that later) or sent from the Pushbullet app to your browser. Firefox has a similar toast notification function, though it’s slightly less robust (for example, Chrome allows you to dismiss a notification on your phone from the desktop, while Firefox does not).
From any of these apps or extensions, you can send something to any of the others. Here’s some of the functionality that’s built right in to Pushbullet:
Send links between devices: In a way, Pushbullet is what Chrome to Phone was intended to be (before it was abandoned in favour of Chrome tab sync). From your desktop, using the Chrome or Firefox extension, you can send a link to your phone or tablet with the click of a button.
Copy files to other devices: Pushbullet can copy files from one device to another, including pictures, videos, music files, PDFs, APKs, and just about anything else that you can copy. While Dropbox is a pretty good solution for file movement, being able to push a file directly from one device to another without a middleman can be useful.
Open an address in your maps app: One of the sucky things about Chrome to Phone being abandoned is that moving a Maps location from your desktop to your phone is a little harder. If you’re in Maps on the desktop, you can send a link from where you’re at. You can also send an address without opening up Maps at all with the address function. Both options open directly in the Maps app on Android. iOS requires you to open the address in the Pushbullet app first, but then it will jump to your maps application.
Put a to-do list in your notification shade: Sometimes you need a to-do list to be in your face and you need it immediately. You can create a checklist from the Pushbullet extension and push it directly to your phone or tablet. Or vice versa.
Receive And Dismiss Notifications On Your Phone Or Tablet From Desktop
One of the neatest features of Pushbullet on Android is that it can mirror your notifications on your desktop. You can do this en masse or on a per app basis. The app accomplishes this by using the notification listening service (which is why it doesn’t work on iOS, unfortunately). Enable notification mirroring on your Android phone or tablet and then install the Pushbullet extension on Chrome or Firefox. From then on, any notification you get will show up on your desktop. You can even dismiss them from your phone, which makes it particularly handy for managing all the notifications that build up during the day.
Create Pushbullet Recipes With IFTTT
The newly minted IFTTT channel for Pushbullet has already been populated with dozens of recipes that allow the service to send notifications directly to your phone, tablet or PC when certain criteria are met. You can browse the entire channel here.
This section actually has a bit of overlap with a similar service, Pushover, which we’ve covered before. While both services can send notifications to your device via IFTTT, Pushbullet excels by making it easier to send thing between devices manually, as well as having Tasker integration which we’ll get to next. If you’re more inclined to write your own code, however, Pushover might be worth your attention.
Push A Voice Message To Other Devices
IFTTT allows you to call in to a dedicated number and leave a voice message for yourself (or others!). With the Pushbullet channel, you can send that voice message directly to your tablet or desktop. The notification will include an audio file of the recording that you can download to any of your devices.
Find Out When The Weather Is Crappy
OK, you probably have somewhere in the area of hundreds of apps on your phone that can retrieve the weather. However, Pushbullet and IFTTT can send weather alerts directly to your phone or desktop. You can get a daily reminder of tomorrow’s forecast, receive a notification if it’s going to rain tomorrow, or just get today’s weather report every morning.
Get Notified When Google Services Go Down
For some of us, we find out that Google services go down because our Twitter feeds won’t shut up about it. If you’re not quite that addicted to information overload, you can find out when a service is having a problem (or when it comes back) with the Google app status RSS feed. To make it even easier, you can have IFTTT send Pushbullet a notification every time the app status feed updates.
Use Pushbullet And Tasker Together
IFTTT isn’t the only automation service with the Pushbullet treatment. About a month back, Tasker got Pushbullet support, which means that you can trigger notifications based on any profile your phone can run. Moreover, those notifications can go to any device. This means that Pushbullet notifications are about as flexible as Tasker itself, but here are a few examples of things you can do with Tasker:
- Get notified of missed calls/texts on other devices.
- Send a notification to a shared device when you arrive/leave a place.
Unfortunately, Tasker’s ability to execute commands when it receives a Pushbullet notification seem to be broken right now, however if this is ever fixed, you would also be able to execute Tasker actions remotely by sending notifications with a specific name attached.
Pushbullet may seem like just a notification service, but with IFTTT and Tasker support, as well as extensions for two of our favourite desktop browsers, it packs a serious punch. The Pushbullet recipe page has been steadily growing since launch, so be sure to check them out.