One of the big features Apple is promoting in their upcoming iOS 8 mobile operating system and OS X “Yosemite” desktop operating system is the ability to connect all of your Apple devices. They are calling it “Continuity”. This feature will allow you to answer your phone, respond to texts, and receive other notifications from any of your Apple items. This seems like a nice feature, and is a great way for Apple to push you even further into their ecosystem. I can tell you how great this is because I have been doing something similar for a while on the Android side. If you are an Android user and want some of these type of controls, here are some tools that will make this happen.
- Push Bullet - Push Bullet will show you all of your Android notifications on your desktop, allow you to move links, pictures, etc. back and forth, let you receive and reply to text messages from your desktop, and even send items to other Push Bullet users from your mobile or desktop devices.
MightyText - MightyText is a mobile app that works with a Chrome extension that notifies you of incoming calls and messages. You can respond to your SMS messages from the Chrome extension. If you have an Android tablet you can also send and receive text messages from your tablet using MightyText.
IFTTT - IFTTT is a service that allows you to connect and automate a ton of activities. You can set up different triggers to notify you at any time.
Google Chrome - Yes the browser! Using the browser with extensions like those above makes the whole thing work. Unlike Apple’s rendition of this, you can use Chrome and these extensions across all platforms. You don’t need a MacBook or iPad to use these features.
In a prior blog post, I talked about how I was moving to iOS because all of my services work better there. However this week, I have been having second thoughts. This post is one of those reasons. I don’t just use Apple products. I am writing this post on a laptop running the Ubuntu flavor of Linux, and spend a lot of time in the Windows ecosystem as well. Cross platform is important, and these tools work really well. So another restless night ahead, tossing and turning, wondering which device I should get this week. Do I make that jump back to iOS, do I get the next MotoX, or do I get that big beautiful screen that is the LG G3? I know the world awaits my decision, so I will make sure to keep everyone updated.
I will talk more about this on a new podcast I am a host of. Go check out our first few episodes of The Agnostic Tech Podcast. Let me know your thoughts on this topic in the comments, or on Twitter @RealDarrenCohen.