How-To Geek

From the Tips Box: Desktop-based TXT Messaging, Indexing Offline Volumes, and Android Homescreen Folders



Once a week we dip into the reader mailbag and share some helpful tips. Today we’re looking at Android TXT messaging from your desktop, indexing offline storage volumes, and adding iOS-style folders to your Android homescreen.

Desktop-based Text Messaging


Nick writes in with a favorite time saving tip:

I loved the article you guys shared earlier this year about remote controlling your Android phone. It was a bit overkill for me though, all I need to do is text from my desktop. I found a perfect solution: Texty for Android (now MightyText). It’s a combination Android app and Chrome extension that allows me to read, reply to, and send text messages from Chrome. Since the biggest thing that distracts me away from my computer screen is replying to text message (but I have to reply to them for my job) this is a perfect solution for me. The website says it’s still in beta and you have to get on a list to try it… but I wouldn’t worry about that. I signed up and got an invite within minutes.

If you’re only looking to work with text messages and not control other apps and features on your Android phone it certainly looks like a solid solution. Thanks for sharing Nick!

Indexing Offline Volumes


Matthew writes in with a solution to his storage indexing problems:

I recently started doing lots of offline backups but I ran into a problem. Once something was archived off my machine I had no way to search it. This wasn’t a problem I’d run into before but it was one that was shaping up to be a real pain. I came across an application that builds indexes of your offline storage (while it’s still attached to your computer) so that later (when it’s in the fire safe or wherever you’ve put it) you can still search the file names like it was mounted on the machine. The program is called Basenji and is available for Windows and Linux.

Sounds like a solid solution to your problem Matthew. If you’re archiving lots of small and diverse files an application like this would prove invaluable when it came time to figure out which external hard drive or DVD the file was stashed on.

Adding iOS-style Application Folders to Android


Marcus wanted the kind of iOS folder experience he had on his iPad on his Android phone. He writes:

You’ve been able to create folders on Android for ages but they’ve always been kind of dull. Recently I started using Application Folder to spice things up. It’s a widget that has an iOS like folder system (just like I’ve gotten used to on my iPad). You create the widget, add in the apps you want, and then when you tap it on your homescreen you get a little pop-up bar just like you do on iOS.

We took Application Folder for a test spin and it does give a nice iOS folder feel to Android’s homescreen folders. Nice find Marcus!

Have a great tip to share? Fire off an email to and then keep an eye out for your top on the front page.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/19/11

Comments (9)

  1. Bump

    Is there a application similar to Texty for the iPhone that anyone is aware of?


  2. ccollins1

    Google Voice is the perfect solution for me and texting from my computer. It works with all browsers and with the recent connection Google Voice has with Sprint, my Android number and my Google Voice number are one in the same at no cost. Also, if I send or receive from my computer or my phone, the message trail is there with no gaps. Along with that is visual voicemail on my computer and my phone. Love it.

  3. Sanchit Goyal

    Another alternative for application folder would be Circle launcher.

    Its a widget with an icon which you can add to desktop. And when you click on it you can see the apps in a circle to select one of them. You can add apps in the list. Very good and sleek.

  4. Chris Hunter

    Yeah, I agree with ccollins1. Google Voice is perfect for me and I use it almost daily.

  5. Kalpesh Solanki

    That’s why I use Nokia. PC suit does it for me.

  6. Test


  7. cmcollins

    Test….Did you pass?

  8. Dev

    You should mention that Texty is only for 2.2+ devices. I signed up for their beta and no word about 2.2+ but then after I got my sign up they wrote “2.2+ is required” :(

  9. desktop messaging


    Desktop Alert Software – desktop messaging. Desktop alert software notify your business customers. DeskAlerts is the only alert solution that works in technologically and geographically diverse networks.


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