Notification is the bee’s knees on mobile devices, because, well, they let us know what’s going on. When you’re working at your computer though, your attention may be on the 24-inch monitor in front of you, not the 4-inch monitor in your pocket. That’s where Remote Notifier comes in.

What it does

Remote Notifier is a free app that consists of two parts: an Android app, and a program for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. It transfers certain notifications over to your computer, letting you see when something happens on your phone. It supports phone ringing, SMS, MMS, battery, and voicemail alerts natively, as well as third party apps that have been designed to work with it. On top of that, a Tasker/Locale plugin (also free) can be installed to give those automation apps the ability to send notifications to your PC, which in turns means that you can make everything from email notifications to settings state information pop up on your computer.

How it does it

With both apps installed, a computer and device on the same network will likely find each other automatically. Having quite a bit more than one mobile app with a PC counterpart in my setup, I’m used to either manually entering IPs or scanning for servers, so I was surprised when Remote Notifier simply worked the moment both apps were installed and running. If you want to go deeper into it, the app supports local WiFi, an internet connection, and Bluetooth options, with the latter two being a more manual thing to set up.

Since this is a system that runs on three different base PC OSes and is dependent on your network configuration, your mileage might vary, but in my case, I don’t think I’ve seen an app that “simply works” more than this. Be warned, though: this app hasn’t been updated for 1.5 years, so it’s more than likely that it has been abandoned by the developer. Since it still works perfectly (on my setup, anyway), it’s still a valid app, though.

Notification Actions

The PC (Windows at least, can’t speak for Linux or Mac) program has an option for Notification Actions in the settings. This is classified as an advanced feature by the developer, but it’s also an extremely powerful tool if you know what it does. To put it simply, it allows you to run command line commands on your computer based on certain notifications. The reason why this is an advanced feature is that this require programs that can actually be controlled this way, not just with a UI.

I’m actually on day 29/30 of my trial for RoboTask right now, a PC program that has a small, but critical piece of the puzzle that allows my phone to turn off my PC monitors as part of entering sleep mode. The program is ridiculously expensive to buy – something like $120, if I recall correctly; there’s no way I’m paying that for the role it plays for me. Notification Actions can actually fully replace if for free, and it’s a quicker, more straight forward system in the process. I use a program called NirCmd to turn off the monitors, and it’s designed to be controlled via command line. Using Remote Notifier, I can turn on or off my monitors by inserting the following command in the Third-party tab of Remote Notifier’s Notification Actions, and then using Tasker to send notifications using Remote Notifier with “on” or “off” in the title:

C:\nircmd-x64\nircmd.exe cmdwait 1000 monitor {title}

Remote Notifier doesn’t separate between different third party apps, which can seem a bit peculiar at first, but using the {title} variable you can actually insert entire commands remotely, whereas I just insert part of the command (on/off). This means that you can essentially use device notifications to do anything that NirCmd or similar programs allow you to do. Like I said though, this is an advanced feature, and you don’t have to bother with it whatsoever if you don’t want to.

Conclusion

Remote Notifier is a great app. The fact that it seems to be abandoned is a real shame, and while I’m glad it still works (for me at least), it’s always better to have an active developer. The version that is actually available though is quite powerful, and the simple setup is a breath of fresh air. I was most surprised by its ability to run commands this way, which to some might seem like too geeky of a tool, but to me is just pure gold.

Since both the app and the Tasker/Locale plugins are free, Remote Notifier gets a clear thumbs up from me, despite being an orphan.

Download: Google Play