You’re sitting in front of your computer and have put your Android phone somewhere on your bed! Suddenly a notification is there, and you want to check that. But, haven’t you thought it would be easier if you can open that notification on your computer screen? Well, if you have, then it makes sense to use a Notification Mirroring service.
Pushbullet and Join are the two popular apps that mirror your Android notification to your computer screen. In fact, you can even use them control your Android device using a web browser. But it’s pretty tough to choose between them.
So, here we have an in-depth comparison of Pushbullet and Join. We shall go through various aspects like pricing, usability, extra features, etc. In the end, you would know which is better for you — Pushbullet or Join. So let’s get started.
About Pushbullet and Join
Pushbullet is a multi-platform service that brings all your devices together. The basic function of Pushbullet is about ‘pushing’ and sending things. From mere links to fully-fledged files, almost everything can be sent to your devices and vice versa.
Join on the other hand is marketed as a Pushbullet alternative. Like Pushbullet, you need to have the Join apps on your devices and its corresponding extensions on your browser. But unlike Pushbullet, with join you get other features such as requesting screenshots, locating the device or making it ring on full volume.
Pushbullet vs. Join —
#1 Pricing Structure
Pushbullet has a freemium model. That’s in the free version, you get basic features like — Sending Links and Notification Mirroring. But if you need features like Universal Copy & Paste and Mirrored Notification Action support and more storage space etc; then you need to pay $4.99 per month (or $3.33 if paid annually). Though it’s worth mentioning, that all these pro features were available for free before they introduced the new pricing model.
Join, on the other hand, does not have a free version. You can try the app for 30 days (ad supported), And then pay a one-time payment of $4.99. No monthly subscription.
So, in terms of pricing, Join is the better option. You don’t have any limitation or monthly fee once you have paid that $4.99. Although Pushbullet has a free version, it’s quite limited as well.
#2 User Interface
Pushbullet has kept the intuitive design in the case of extensions and the unified web interface. It’s also easy to set up Pushbullet account in all devices with your Google account.
However, User Interface of Join looks geeky. It does not have a fully-fledged Graphical User Interface — it’s just some buttons arranged in order. So, if you are a newbie, you may need some time to get the idea about UI of Join but for an advanced user, the interface works like a charm.
#3 Notification Mirroring and SMS Access
Notification Mirroring is just right in Pushbullet. Once you have given Android Notification access, all the notifications will be shown on your other devices too. Let that be phone calls, WhatsApp messages or SMS notifications; every bit will be popped up on other screens. Though, one limitation with Pushbullet is that iPhone notifications can be mirrored to Mac devices only.
SMS Access is also good in Pushbullet. You get the full list of SMSs on all connected devices, and you can send messages too. Though, in the free version, you can send only 100 Messages per month. This is a serious limit because Pushbullet counts WhatsApp and Kik messages too. So, if you are someone who spends more time on WhatsApp or Kik, Pushbullet Free isn’t sufficient for you.
Join also mirror all the notifications to your other devices. It’s the same with WhatsApp Messages, Facebook or your Reminder. Everything will be shown in the connected devices as they happen. The best part about Join is that you can reply to the notifications. It’s available in the free trial too.
Join also pulls a fully-fledged list of your SMS Messages. From any device, you can send a message, and it will be sent via your Android phone. And, what’s more, there is no limit to the number of Messages you can send.
Overall, if you sent more than 100 messages/month, go with Join, since it’s cheaper.
#4 Support for Devices
When you have many devices with you, compatibility is a factor of selection. Pushbullet offers official and unofficial support for different platforms, including–
- Official apps for Android, iOS and Microsoft Windows
- Browser Extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera
- And a Unified Web-based Interface
- Apart from these, Pushbullet endorses a few community-built apps too. Here, you get apps for BlackBerry, Mac, Ubuntu and Windows Phone.
When we consider Join, it’s available for limited platform, which includes –
- Official Apps for Android and Windows 10
- Browser Extension for Google Chrome and FireFox (not fully supported)
- A Web-based Interface
Though, it’s worth mentioning that Join’s web interface really useful. You can log in from any device and manage any device. Surprisingly, you can even manage the device you logged in from. For instance, I tried to ring my phone from it — and it worked.
In short, if you have multiple devices other than Android like an iPhone or a Windows phone, then Pushbullet make more sense.
#5 What You Can Send?
Using Pushbullet, you can ‘push’ a variety of content to your devices, like —
- Data you’ve stored in Clipboard
- Browser Links
- Files (max file size 25MB in Free version else 1GB when you go for Pro plan)
Join is a bit advanced when it comes to sending things. You can send —
- Clipboard Data
- Browser Links
- Files (Though, to send files from your Android device use the native share option, no direct option inside the app)
- Tasker Commands
#6 Other Features
As we said, both Pushbullet and Join offer some additional features than notification mirroring. Although it’s not important to everyone, it can still matter to some.
Chat with Friends — If your friends use Pushbullet, you can chat with them from any device. Messages are synced with all devices including the Web Browsers, PCs, and whatnot. Also, in Windows PCs, we’ve some cool chat heads too.
Remote File Access — You need to give certain permissions on your device to use this feature. Once enabled, you can access your files remotely. For instance, you can download a file from your desktop or vice versa.
Follow Channels and Read Content — Pushbullet offers a bunch of channels you would be interested in. These channels are regularly updated, bringing you up-to-date news from the web. You can read the content from these channels in a single click.
Find Your Phone: In a single click, you can make your phone ring in full volume.
Send Tasker Commands: If you have installed Tasker on your Android device, Join lets you manage control Tasker actions. You can send Tasker commands to perform certain tasks.
Location: You can find out the precise location of your phone.
Request the Screenshot/screen recording of your device. It will be taken, uploaded and opened on the other device.
|Availability||Android, iOS, Windows, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Web||Android, Windows 10, Chrome and Web|
(with $4.99 per month)
|$4.99 one time payment (with 30-days free trial)|
|Maximum File Size for Sending||25MB in Free; 1GB in Pro||No Limit|
|Notification Supported||All Notifications||All Notifications|
|Notification Actions||Only in Pro version||Yes|
|Storage||2GB in Free; 100GB in Pro||Google Drive Storage|
The Final Verdict
Although Pushbullet and Join do the similar thing, there is still a lot of difference.
If you are looking for a simple service for notification mirroring, Pushbullet is fine. It has dedicated apps for several platforms and works fine for an average joe. But they don’t offer in-depth control over your device. Similarly, the pricing plan of Pushbullet isn’t so impressive since you need to pay $4.99 every month.
Join, on the other hand, is for power users. The UI may not be simple, but it does offer a bunch of advanced features like– finding out device location and taking screenshots. You can get all these options from its web-based interface. So, if join works for you, then it makes sense to pay $4.99 once and use Join forever.