There are many ways to get files from your PC to a mobile Android device. One of our favorite methods around here is the super useful AirDroid for Android. But a recent feature from the free app Pushbullet for Android and iOS recently caught our attention.
Pushbullet makes it ridiculously simple to transfer files from one device to another with just a few clicks. The connection between your devices is always present, meaning you don’t have to reconnect every time you want to swap a picture.
I wouldn’t call Pushbullet a replacement or even a competitor to AirDroid though, because the two apps don’t work the same way.
Pushbullet doesn’t give you complete access to your phone’s file system like AirDroid does. Instead, it allows you to transfer files, links, notes, and messages from one device to another.
If you’re in front of your phone you could, say, send a picture to your PC. Once you’re at your PC you could send a recently downloaded song back to your phone.
So if you’re already an AirDroid user, why should you use Pushbullet?
For Android users, it puts all your phone’s notifications on your desktop thanks to the mobile app working in concert with a desktop companion on your PC. You can see incoming phone calls, texts, alerts from your favorite news apps, email notifications, and so on. You can also disable notifications via Pushbullet on a per app basis.
Pushing files with pushbullet
For this to work you need to have Pushbullet on your phone (Google Play, iTunes) and the companion desktop app running on your Windows machine. Once that’s done, sign-in to both apps with your Google account, and your devices will be able to swap files via Pushbullet.
Let’s say you want to move a music file stored at C:UsersMeMusicGroovyTune.mp3 to your phone.
First, open a File Explorer window and navigate to that location. Then, just right-click the file and in the context menu you should see a heading that says ‘Pushbullet.’
Hover over it until a second menu opens up with the names of your devices. Choose your phone, in my case it’s the LGE Nexus 4, and click.
A desktop notification will pop-up to tell you the tune is uploading and that’s it. Easy peasy.
Although Pushbullet is easy to use, the app does have its limits. For starters, you are capped at pushing files of 25 megabytes or less to your phone.
You also can’t move multiple files at once. The only way to get a big batch of files onto your phone at one time is to create a ZIP file of 25MB or less.
Any files sent to your phone via Pushbullet are placed in the Downloads folder on Android. However, Pushbullet also keeps a record of files swapped between devices allowing you to access files and notes inside the app.
Pushbullet isn’t perfect for every occasion where you want your phone talking to your PC. But if you’re looking for an app that lets you swap files between devices without manually creating a new connection every time, give Pushbullet a try.
Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn't like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he's not covering the news he's working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.