One of the cooler, subtle things that Google showed off at Google I/O was its new Android Cloud to Device Messaging service that’s a part of Android 2.2. The “don’t call it Push Notifications” service allows you to automatically send links from your computer to your Android device.
Everyone is talking about the ability to push Android apps (and eventually music/media) to your devices — and rightly so. But also useful is this link push ability. For example, if you looking at a page on your computer than you want to take on the go (something I do all the time), you can now just use a Chrome extension and with one click, it automatically appears on your phone.
And it’s even more useful with maps. If you’re looking up an address in Google Maps on your computer, you can click the extension and it will automatically push it to your Android device — and open it in the Maps app.
This sort of reminds me of the television show 24. Jack Bauer is constantly telling Chloe O’Brien to send stuff to his phone — and magically it always seems to appear in seconds. With this, that would actually be possible.
Of course, there’s a downside to this too. Imagine a friend or co-worker is at your computer where you have the extension installed. They could easily push you any page. Porn, Rickrolls, etc — imagine the possibilities!
Watch it in action with both a link and a map below.
If you have Android 2.2 (and if you don’t yet, be patient, it’s coming) go to the Chrome-to-Phone Google Code page for instructions on how to make this work. Basically, you just install a Chrome extension and an Android app and you’re good to go. This all works because it syncs through your Gmail address over AppEngine.
Update: Pastefire (which we covered in January) does something similar for the iPhone. But again, the Android way is using something Google specifically built-in to Android 2.2.