Chrome tip: How to get Android phone notifications on your computer

Phone notifications on Chrome

Google Chrome already supports rich notifications and Google Now is in the works for the browser, but I think there’s still a missing link: Phone notifications sent to your computer. With a free app and Chrome extension, I’ve been having my Android phone push certain alerts right to my Chromebook Pixel. Why is that handy? Because there are often times where my focus is on the computer, not the phone in my pocket, on my desk or sitting on the charger in another room.

You’ll need two free things to add phone notifications to Chrome OS or your Chrome browser. First, install the Android Desktop Notifications extension found in the Chrome Web Store. (Note: You can also enjoy this solution with Firefox, using this extension.)¬†Next, install the corresponding Android app called Desktop Notifications found in the Google Play Store. You’ll need to enabled the Desktop Notifications setting in Android for the app to work.

Once you install those two item, you need to pair the browser add-on with your phone. The extension provides a unique alphanumeric code which you need to type into the Desktop Notification app on your handset. Enter it and you’re done: Now all phone notifications will appear as pop-up alerts in your browser.

Android Desktop NotificationsOf course, I found out the hard way that you probably don’t want¬†all of your phone notifications appearing. Originally, I was routinely getting duplication notifications from both Chrome and the extension. For example, every email notification would appear twice: Once natively in Chrome OS and once from the phone. The same was true for Facebook, Twitter and list goes on. The fix is in the Android app itself.

Tapping the settings in the phone app brings up customization options. You can enable or disable any app notifications, for example, or have notifications sent only when the phone is on Wi-Fi so that the app doesn’t use mobile broadband data to push the notifications. I ended up disabling all the duplicate apps and left alerts on for my calendar, clock — this works nicely as an alarm clock on the computer — text messages and incoming phone calls. Now, all the phone-centric alerts are sent my way even if the phone isn’t handy or nearby.

Like this tip? We shared this one and often provide others on our weekly GigaOM Chrome Show podcast. Here’s the most recent episode along with an RSS link if you want to subscribe.

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