Hot topics

If you haven't tried Pushbullet yet, try this app instead

AndroidPIT file sharing 1298
© nextpit

Pushbullet saw a fall from grace recently. The exceptional cross-platform file-sharing tool gained notoriety when it introduced a yearly subscription fee and migrated once-free features to the paid version. Now, thanks to an app called Join, you can get more features than Pushbullet offers and all for a one-time payment.

AndroidPIT file sharing 1303
Link all your devices with this challenger to Pushbullet's crown. / © ANDROIDPIT

Pushbullet hits the wall

Pushbullet introducing a paid version of its service seemed fair enough, but the way the company handled the transition upset many users. Instead of introducing new features for the pro version, Pushbullet moved previously free features behind the paywall. These features included universal copy and paste, notification mirroring and unlimited messages. The price was also set at a rather heady US$4.99 a month, and no grace period was given for existing users to purchase a subscription at a discount. Overall, a bumbled effort.

A viable alternative

Thankfully, a worthy alternative has now arrived on the scene: Join. Although it only recently went live across all platforms – Android, Chrome, Windows 10, web – Join has already shown itself to be more versatile than Pushbullet. The service is still in its infancy – its interface isn't as pretty or intuitive as Pushbullet's and the occasional bug rears its head – but, overall, it's a superior service, and it's available for a one-time payment – currently US$3.99.

AndroidPIT file sharing 1293
Join works across Android, Windows 10 and Chrome. / © ANDROIDPIT

What Join offers

I played around with the app for several days, and pushing images, links, my clipboard, messages, everything worked with only the occasional hiccup (mostly due to my own fault through a short period of adjustment, but SMS messages were sometimes slow to send and the window reluctant to refresh). All files are shared through Google Drive and stored in a dedicated folder, allowing you to go back and access them at any time from any device.

The service allows you to automatically share anything that is copied to your clipboard, reply to messages from within notifications (on Windows 10), set images as backgrounds on remote devices, and pretty much anything else you might wish to do with such a service.

App notification permissions are granular, allowing you to select which apps can and cannot push notification across all your platforms. Right clicking on any link, text or image lets you push it from within Chrome, or you can open your current tab on another device.

AndroidPIT file sharing 1286
Join lets you select what apps can send notifications through its service. / © ANDROIDPIT

There's also a feature that makes your device ring (very loudly), for those inevitable times when you forget where you left it, and you can also retrieve its coordinates, for when you perhaps left it a little further away than your bedroom.

A caveat

One downside to Join is that, at the minute, you have to pay separately for the Android app and the Windows 10 app, and the developer has hopes of also charging for the Chrome extension. This makes sense from one perspective (the price isn't universally escalated to cover development costs on platforms you might not use) but it also results in the feeling that you're paying two or three times for one service, as the Android app alone is essentially useless to users who want to sync their Android device with a Windows 10 laptop or desktop. Currently, however, using the Android app and Chrome extension only requires one payment, and this is enough for the most common uses of a service like this.

AndroidPIT file sharing 1295
Quickly share web pages, images and pretty much anything you might want to. / © ANDROIDPIT

Despite this awkward pricing mechanism, Join remains a fantastic service. It's still early days, too. Expect the UI to undergo significant improvements, and to see bugs, particularly in the SMS field, to be ironed out. In my opinion, Join is already superior to Pushbullet, and it's only going to get better.

Have your tried Join yet? Let us know what you think of it and how it compares to Pushbullet, if you've tried both.

Choosing the Right Samsung Foldable

  Fold 2023 Fold 2022 Fold 2021 Flip-Phone 2023 Flip-Phone 2022 Flip-Phone 2021
Image Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Product Image
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Go to comment (4)
Chris Marshall

Chris Marshall
Junior Editor

Chris is a graduate in English and Philosophy and habitual tamperer with technology. A recent convert to Android, through the marvel of the Samsung Galaxy S6, he looks to share the fruits of this technological honeymoon through AndroidPIT.

View all articles
Liked this article? Share now!
Recommended articles
Latest articles
Push notification Next article
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing

  • Georgian Stanescu 11
    Georgian Stanescu Mar 24, 2016 Link to comment

    I use a Chrome Extension AND ANdroid APp by the same name called Desktop Notifications. I love em both. It does the job. heheh

  • Giovanni CM 1
    Giovanni CM Mar 23, 2016 Link to comment

    I was a heavy user of Pushbullet, now I found PUSHLINE. It works perfectly for what I need, very light and unobtrusive.

  • 7
    Haggie Mar 21, 2016 Link to comment

    I use Pushbullet and haven't had the need to move to the paid version. Join sounds interesting, but I can wait until it is a little further down the road on development.

    A small one-time payment for each different platform is much better than a ridiculously huge annual charge....

    • 11
      Hilko R. Mar 22, 2016 Link to comment

      I totally second that.


Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing