Smartphones

Chrome to Phone: Interact with your mobile Android device from your desktop

Jack Wallen believes the free Chrome to Phone application is the easiest way to send URLs and pasted text from your desktop to your Android phone.

If you're a hardcore Android and Chrome user, I've got a nifty application for you. I stumbled across this while searching for ways to get a vanilla Android launcher on a Motorola Droid X. The tool is called Chrome to Phone, and it allows you to:

  • Send browser links from Chrome to your phone with a single click
  • Launch specific applications on Android with specific links (such as Google Maps and YouTube links)
  • Send phone numbers that automatically launch the dialer
  • Send text on a Web page that copies the clipboard to Android

It's very handy -- especially when you don't want to type out long URLs or text on your Android handset. You can also associate Chrome to Phone with any phone or tablet that's currently connected to your Google account. Let's walk through the process of setting up and using this awesome tool.

Set up on phone

As you might expect, this is pretty straight forward. Here are the steps involved:

  1. Open up the Android Market
  2. Search for "chrome to phone" (no quotes)
  3. Select the Chrome to Phone entry
  4. Tap Download
  5. Tap Accept and Download

After installation, it's time to set it up. Do the following:

  1. Open the App Drawer on your Android phone
  2. Search for the Chrome to Phone icon
  3. In the first setup screen (see Figure A), select the Google account you want to use (most likely there will be only one)
  4. Tap Next
  5. Grant access to Chrome to Phone by tapping Allow in the next screen
  6. Select how you want links to open (automatically or manually) in the final setup screen (see Figure B)

That's it for the phone setup.

Figure A

Should you have more than one Google account on your phone, they will be listed. Select the one you want to use.
Figure B

If you want links to automatically open when sent, select the Automatic option, otherwise you'll have to open the link from the notification area.

Set up on Desktop

This set up is even easier than on the phone. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the extension manager in Chrome
  2. Search for "chrome to phone" (no quotes)
  3. When the extension is listed, click the Add to Chrome button (see Figure C)

Figure C

Here you see the extension already installed.
With the extension added, a new button will appear in your toolbar. Click on that icon, and you will be prompted to sign in (see Figure D). Click the sign in link, and you will need to grant access (if you've already authenticated to your Google account -- or you will prompted to log into your Google account and then be asked to grant access). Figure D

Sending URLs to a phone has never been easier.

With authentication and access complete, all you have to do now is go to a URL and click the Chrome to Phone icon. The URL the current tab is on will automatically be sent to your mobile device.

To send pasted text to the phone, the pasted text must be within a web site. Once you're on the page you want the text from, highlight the text on the webpage and then click the Chrome to Phone icon. The copied text will automatically be sent to the phone's clipboard. You can then long press anywhere that will accept text input and select Paste to copy the text.

Options

You won't find any options available, other than setting up the phone to either automatically or manually open links. Chrome to Phone is a fairly straight forward, simple application that really needs little to no configuration. If you do, however, decide to disconnect a device from Chrome to Phone (since you can have as many as you like), all you have to do is open up the application and tap the Disconnect phone button. That's about it.

If you're looking for a way to easily send URLs and/or pasted text from your desktop to your Android phone, this may be the easiest method I've found. Chrome to Phone is easy to use, reliable, and free.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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