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How to Receive Your Android Phone’s Alerts on Your Desktop Computer

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Ever leave your Android phone around the house while doing some work only to find missed calls and text messages? With Android Notifier, your phone’s alerts will pop up on your computer. It’s free and it even supports Growl!

Two-Part Installation

Android Notifier has two components: one is the Notifier app for your computer, and the other is the Remote Notifier app for you Android phone. Both are easy to configure and are absolutely free.

First, hit up the link below and download the appropriate app for your computer. There are versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux – we LOVE Linux support! – and in both 32- and 64-bit versions.

Android Notifier at Google Code

On Mac OS and Linux, the app uses Growl and dbus, respectively. Both are great notification systems so if you don’t have them already, try them out. On Windows 7, the app will work with the system tray alert as well as with Growl for Windows.

desktop installation

After installing the notifier on the computer, make sure it’s running. You may see a Windows Firewall notice, so go ahead and click Allow.

allow access

On your Android phone, hop on your home wireless network and grab Remote Notifier from the Android Market (Market Link).

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Once installed, it should work by itself!

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You can open up the Remote Notifier on your phone and make sure things work by tapping on “Send test notification.”

test notification

You should see something pop up on your desktop. Here’s what it looks like in Ubuntu:

test notification linux

Customizing Alerts

You can change which alerts will be seen on your desktop and which won’t. Open up the app on your phone and tap “Events to notify.”

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You can check off which alerts you want pushed to your desktop and which ones you don’t. These same options are available on the desktop app by right-clicking the icon in your tray and choosing Preferences.

desktop options

The beauty of this is that you can allow your phone to push all notifications. You can then run the desktop app on multiple computers, and each computer can have customized notifications and actions. For instance, you can copy the phone number of the caller to your clipboard when that type of alert pops up.

discharging battery

Configuration

There’s a lot more you can configure as well, so let’s look at the Android app. Under Notification Service, you’ll see a few nifty options.

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You can manually start or stop the service, allow it start when you turn your phone on, and choose whether or not you’d like to display an icon on your status bar.

Under notification methods, you choose whether to connect to your phone via WiFi, Bluetooth, or both.

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You can configure their respective options, too. For example, you can manually enter a target IP address, automatically enable WiFi when Remote Notifier starts, and even force alerts to be sent over your 3G connection instead.

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Last, but definitely never least, is Security.

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You can choose to encrypt notifications and supply a passphrase. You’ll also need to configure your desktop app to decrypt messages, so be aware of that. Speaking of the desktop app, let’s look at some of those options again:

  • General Options: Here you can configure whether the app should start at boot or not, and you can enable a private mode, too.
  • Notification Reception Methods: You can configure which methods are allowed while communicating with your Android phone. It’s really useful if you use this with multiple computers.
  • Notification Display Methods: If you have Growl for Windows, you can force the app to use that instead.
  • Devices: If you have multiple devices, you can configure which ones your desktop app should work with. You’ll be prompted to send a test notification from the device you’d like to allow.

Android Notifier is pretty easy to set up and works very well on all platforms. You can set up Tasker tasks to automatically start the app and WiFi/Bluetooth when you’re at home, at a specific time of day, or when your phone is in its dock. If you have a DNS alias for your home network, you can even configure port forwarding so that your desktop will get notifications from your cell phone from anywhere, and without being tied down to WiFi or Bluetooth. Now you can receive your phone’s alerts on your computer and you’ll always know when you receive a phone call. Whether or not you want to answer, though, is still up to you.

Yatri Trivedi is a monk-like geek. When he's not overdosing on meditation and geek news of all kinds, he's hacking and tweaking something, often while mumbling in 4 or 5 other languages.

  • Published 05/26/11

Comments (15)

  1. John Chorley

    This is cool. I am going to give this a try and see how it works.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. D

    U could put QR code here.

  3. Ali

    Do u have something similar for Web OS(Palm Pre)

  4. Dev

    Nice idea, but USB is not supported so it’s useless for me :(

  5. ark

    There’s an app called GTalk SMS that does this and lot more. It’s like your phone is your IM buddy and notifies of anything (call, sms etc). You can even send command line instructions, Send SMS from your computer through the phone.

  6. x3geek

    MyPhoneExplorer is the best i have been using since my sony ericsson days. for android is got better with connectivity options.

  7. Dante D'Orazio

    Does this work for Google Voice notifications? Looks like a very tight setup, but I need my GV. Thanks.

  8. Rey

    You did it again! I am trying this out now.

  9. sado

    @Dante D’Orazio
    Google Voice can already send you notifications to your computer. Just have gmail open in a browser.

  10. gunn0r

    I also prefer MyPhoneExplorer, which even allows you to send SMS via the desktop application.

  11. JeRrYFaR

    For SMS I’m using Texty right now. That thing rocks. I do have Tasker though and this looks really slick. I’ll dload it and try it out. Thanks HowToGeek!

  12. Robert

    MyPhoneExplorer doesn’t work on Droid. :-(

  13. Android Applications Development

    Wow this is a great news for Android users now they will get alerts on their desktop as well.Thanks for sharing this valuable information.Always wanted to part of such communities where people can learn and share the ideas in front of big players.

  14. geek2bUsed

    Very cool app!

  15. Technobabble77

    The Android Notifier Desktop client does NOT work in Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty).

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