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MyPhoneDesktop Links Your Computer and iDevice the Way Apple Should Have
Kyle VanHemert —Froyo? That’s just what the myPhoneDesktop app eats after a hard day of wirelessly zapping links, text and images from your computer to your iPhone or iPad—a taste of the mouthwatering functionality Google demoed on Android last week.

As it becomes clearer that smart phones and tablets aren’t people’s lesser computers but simply their other computers, one of the greatest frustrations—and something Google tantalizingly promised to address with Android 2.2—is how isolated all of these devices are from one another. Thankfully, myPhoneDesktop lets your iPhone and iPad get intimate with your Mac, Windows or Linux PC, without the USB chastity belt or overbearing iTunes chaperone.

Despite its unwieldy name and its unforgiving website, myPhoneDesktop is a pretty smooth operator. You just copy something to your clipboard on your computer—a phone number, a scrap of text, a URL, an image—and the desktop app will beam it over WiFi or 3G to your device of choice. It’s a quick, smart way to dial a phone number you encounter on the net, zap a map from your browser to your iPhone as you go out the door, or push a website over to your iPad for further perusal. To be fair, it’s not nearly as ambitious as the stuff Google was showing off—you can’t, say, buy songs or apps and send them to your phone—but myPhoneDesktop is here now, and it works well.

Best of all, things go where they’re supposed to. When I copied YouTube links, they opened in the native YouTube app; crazy-long Google maps links opened in the Maps app; and images were instantly saved in my iPad’s photo album. Simply put, this is how computers and mobile devices should interact—seamlessly. Everything you send has to go through myPhoneDesktop’s app, which means that the app has to open, log you in, and then process the image/link/whatever you just beamed to it, but it’s only a hiccup compared to the ordeal of syncing a new iPad background image via iTunes, or even compared to the workaround of emailing yourself the image.

Sweetening the deal, push notifications give you the option to check your beamed material that very second or let it collect in the app where you can check it out later.

There are myPhoneDesktop clients for Macs, PCs, and Linux machines, as well as a web-based app if you find yourself needing to zap from an unfamiliar computer. There’s support for Growl and a bunch of keyboard shortcuts and the next version, pending App Store approval, will have support for multiple iDevices and and and, drum roll please, the app that has got me so breathlessly excited can be had in the App Store right now for only $2.

It almost seems ludicrous to heap so much praise on an app that accomplishes such a stupidly simple task, but the other side of that coin is realizing just how ludicrous it is that iPhones and iPads don’t have this type of integration to begin with. For iDevice users who’ve been yearning for that connection, MyPhoneDesktop will help you go back to the days when the only froyo you secretly craved was Pinkberry’s. [App Store via myPhoneDesktop]

DISCUSSION THREADSFeaturedAllStart a new thread
AreWeThereYeti 25 May 2010 9:30 PM
So does anyone know how to use the supposed sync capabilities in Froyo? I’ve got Froyo and have been wanting to try it out, but I haven’t seen how it is supposed to work. I have a feeling that it requires cloud and/or browser/pc support that hasn’t been released yet?
Edited by AreWeThereYeti at 05/25/10 9:31 PM
Kyle VanHemert
@AreWeThereYeti: Yeah, they sorta glossed over that in the demo but I don’t think they promised that it’d necessarily come in step with Froyo. Hopefully sooner than later.
wætherman
@AreWeThereYeti: step 1: Buy an ipad…
Snafu77 promoted by AreWeThereYeti
@AreWeThereYeti: Google Chrome To Phone is out already
That will just open your current tab on your phone.
The itunes sync and other syncing is coming from a company that Google recently acquired and the app isn’t out yet. The installing apps from the new marketplace website isn’t deployed yet either. The device side capability is ready to go with the froyo update but until the marketplace rolls out the new site it’s not operational. I tried accessing the site shown in IO market website screenshots but it’s probably Google intranet or dead/moved cuz it wasn’t resolvable at all.
We have Froyo but it hasn’t been officially deployed to regular users yet. This update was for promo phones aka journalists and reviewers. Hopefully more of these features will be ready around the June 17 release date I was originally given for 2.2 deployment to regular N1 users.
Edited by Snafu77 at 05/25/10 10:55 PM
Andrew Conti
@AreWeThereYeti: search for the chrome to phone extension, you need that and the apk for the phone. works great!
Andrew Conti promoted by AreWeThereYeti
@Andrew Conti:
here
Taylor Alexander promoted by AreWeThereYeti

@AreWeThereYeti: Yes!
I just got it working about 10 minutes ago, and it’s great!

QR code for the android app portion:

Specifically, try it with a google maps link, its awesome!
Taylor Alexander promoted by AreWeThereYeti
@AreWeThereYeti: Ugh, posted early by accidentally hitting enter… But i pretty much had it. all the instructions are on the google code page i linked anyway, which i’ll re-link because i’m not sure my comment worked…
AreWeThereYeti
@wætherman: Oh, you bad troll you :P.
Edited by AreWeThereYeti at 05/26/10 12:44 AM
AreWeThereYeti
@Snafu77: Thanks! Actually, I want mainly to go the other way: find something on the phone (using voice search- much faster than a desktop), and then zap it to a big screen. I want to use Android as basically a remote control for my desktop browser.

I’ve been using Froyo for nearly a week, but this was the missing piece of functionality; I’m trying everything out and this feature is certainly not “obvious”.
AreWeThereYeti
@Kyle VanHemert: Looks like other commenters found the details, although they posted three different pages. I’ve collated them here to make sense of it:

It is a combination of an Android app and a Chrome plug-in. The part that seems to be available now is from Chrome to the phone, not sure how the other direction is supposed to happen.

The project page is here:

The setup instructions are here:

The android app and chrome plugin are here:

Thanks everyone!
AreWeThereYeti
@Taylor Alexander: Thanks!
Snafu77
@AreWeThereYeti:
I hadn’t thought of the reverse – basically PhonetoChrome. It should be possible with a plugin- maybe someone will make it.

PRemoteDroid http://www.premotedroid.com will let you remotely control your desktop via wifi or bluetooth.
That may allow you to search then copy and paste things into your desktop browser.

There’s also
VNC for Android.
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