Desktop Notifications - be informed about everything on your PC!
Kris Carlon (translation)
Kris Carlon comes to the AndroidPIT Editorial Team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world. He joined the Android community while resurfacing in civilization back in 2010 and has never looked back, using technology to replace his actual presence in other people's lives ever since. He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.
Last night in the Play Store I happened to stumble upon the app, "Desktop Notifications," which was created by some students of the University of Stuttgart. Their field of study is about making the operation of technical equipment as comfortable and intuitive as possible. Mobile platforms like Android always have room to maneuver, so the team developed an app that creates a simple link between your phone and computer so the incoming notifications on your Android device are also displayed on your PC screen.
This sounded like a really good idea with an even better implementation! You can read in the review below how the app works in real life.
As already described above, the app "Desktop Notifications" means that you get notifications from your smartphone or tablet displayed on your computer screen. This requires, logically enough, that you install appropriate software on both the PC and smartphone to establish the link.
For your computer you will need either Firefox or Chrome as a browser, along with the appropriate plugin for either browser. The Firefox version is available here, and here for the Chrome.
On your Android device the app is needed, which is free and without questionable permissions.
If you then open the app, you will be guided through the steps of setting up the service, which begins with the above-mentioned installation of the plugin for the browser. Once you have allowed the app on your smartphone to access the notifications, you come to the step in which the connection is made. One has to simply enter the code displayed in the settings of the browser application and click the "Apply" button (although I personally think it would have been easier if the desktop app displayed a QR code that could be scanned from the Android app). Create a test notification to conclude the pairing and the service is up and running.
The settings of the desktop app are used only for connecting, setting display length and sound settings. In the Android app settings, it is also possible to specify whether the notifications are sent only via Wi-Fi and whether the content of the notification is also displayed on the PC. You can also exclude specific apps whose messages will not transmitted.
Screen & Controls
Strictly speaking, the appearance of the app "Desktop Notifications" on the Android device is unimportant because it is only needed once to set up – nevertheless, the design is contemporary and directed by Google's Holo standard.
On the computer screen, notifications are displayed in the lower right corner as a white popup with the icon of the app sending the notification. The only thing I miss here is a display of the complete contents of the notification. If, for example, you get a Whatsapp message, in the Android notification bar you can completely read it, whereas with this service only the first few words are displayed. To what extent the developers have been limited by the PC-Android connection in this regard, however, I do not know.
Speed & Stability
"Desktop Notifications" was stable on all occasions. Since I set it up up about two weeks ago there have been no problems and I haven't had to adjust anything. It simply shows all notifications on my computer as I set them up. The duration of the appearance of the messages on the desktop is also perfectly fine, about two to five seconds works for me.
The app "Desktop Notifications" is available for free and there is no advertising. The only smear in this category is that the app states that some data will be sent to the university server (in addition to the notification data that must be sent to the PC). But this happens completely anonymously and apparently will not be recycled - the data of notifications are kept only to transmit, then will be deleted immediately. For more details, you can read the security/privacy section in the app description in the Play Store.
Behind "Desktop Notifications" lies a simple but brilliant idea that has been very well implemented by these University of Stuttgart students. If the above mentioned issue with displaying the complete contents of the notification is fixed, the app would, in my eyes, definitely deserve the fifth star.
Simple, practical, stylish and free. What more could you want?