Apps that allow Android users to send SMS (or a text) from their desktop have existed for a while now. But lately, with KitKat’s better power management, Chrome’s notifications API, and the entry of Pushbullet (everyone’s favorite Android app), things are starting to heat up.
All three of them work well (over Wi-Fi), you can choose any one of them and you’ll probably be happy. But there are minor differences between them, like the setup process, extra features, and compatibility that will influence your decision.
If you don’t really want to test all three apps on your own to see which one is the best for you, read on as we dissect the apps and suggest the best features for different users.
MightyText Is The Most Feature Rich
One thing MightyText is not light on is features. Here’s the highlight reel:
Support for Hangouts, the default SMS app for Android, along with Textra, Chomp SMS, Hello SMS, Easy SMS, GoSMS
Backup and syncing SMS
Send photos and videos to the computer you’re connected to
Text via tablet using MightyText’s dedicated tablet app
Notifications for calls, missed calls, and battery alerts
If reading that gave you a tingling feeling, download the MightyText extension for Chrome, activate the Android app and get the texting started.
To no fault of its own, MightyText is feature rich in only this field. You can see that with options like photo and video sync it’s trying to do more. But inherently, MightyText is just a texting app. This also means that the core feature – sending and receiving SMS – will work better than any other app out there.
MightyText is a desktop SMS app that’s trying to be more.
Pushbullet Is For Quickly Replying to Text Messages
How do you not have Pushbullet installed on your Phone? Anyone who tells you innovation in Android has slowed down, just show them this app. I haven’t seen any other app in recent times that’s trying to solve the biggest problems of a modern Android phone user this quickly.
Pushbullet started as an easy way to exchange information between the phone and PC using push notifications. But it’s so much more now. One of the things Pushbullet does is allow you to reply to SMS from your PC.
What you need to remember is that Pushbullet is not a full fledged SMS app. It doesn’t even have a UI for viewing past SMS messages or creating new ones.
All you can do with Pushbullet is reply to an SMS when it shows up as a notification on your PC. Once the notification is dismissed you can’t get to it.
Another reason Pushbullet might not be for you is its lack of Hangouts app support (which is the default messaging app on Android 4.4). As Pushbullet only works via notifications, SMS app developers need to integrate the functionality using its API. EvolveSMS, Textra, chomp SMS and more third party SMS clients are officially supported.
Pushbullet adds quick-reply for SMS feature to its already awesome app. But don’t mistake it for a fully blown text messaging app like MightyText.
AirDroid Is Much More Than A Texting App – It’s a Device Management Suite
AirDroid sits somewhere in between MightyText and Pushbullet. It’s not as feature rich or focused as MightText and not as lightweight as Pushbullet.
AirDroid is a device management app. Meaning once paired to a PC via the web, you can transfer files, install apps, manage storage, delete files and send and reply to SMS from the web view.
AirDroid has a special Messages window where you can see all the messages stored on your Android device, reply to pending messages or start a new conversation. It also has backup features like MightyText.
AirDroid is a device management app with solid SMS send-and-receive features. But it might be overkill for someone just looking for a simple desktop SMS solution.
Which One Is For You?
Just looking for an easy way to text from the PC? Don’t want any more features? Download MightyText, it will not disappoint.
Already running Pushbullet (seriously, why aren’t you?), use the SMS feature to quickly reply to SMS from the desktop, but don’t expect anything more.
If the idea of a wireless desktop management app intrigues you, download AirDroid and make it a habit to connect to it every time you settle down on your desk. That way you’ll be able to do things like reply to SMS, start new conversations, move files, and look at notifications without ever touching your phone.
A note about battery life: MightyText and Pushbullet are customized to not destroy your battery life when connected to desktop. The same can’t be said about AirDroid.
What’s Your Desktop SMS Solution?
What does your desktop SMS setup look like? Let us know in the comments below.