When IFTTT is a pain to set up, and your RSS reader is bursting at the seams with unread articles, there’s Pushbullet Channels, a new alternative to receiving notifications about what’s relevant to you.
PushBullet already synchronizes alerts and notifications across devices, from your Android phone or tablet to your desktop, but its new Channels feature allows you to subscribe to your favorite sites and get notified when they update.
“A channel is not like a Twitter account, where tweeting a ton of different things is normal,” wrote Ryan Oldenburg, Pushbullet’s CEO. “Great channels are focused, and don’t go off any more than they have to.” You can subscribe to existing channels that notify you of things like Steam Deals, when XKCD posts a new comic, and when Android Police uploads new APKs. Pushbullet also put a call out for developers to create their own channels with the service’s API.
Why this matters: Pushbullet is an Android community favorite, and this update is a prime example of the ingenuity that's possible from small-time developers. It is updated frequently to add new features, often requested by users, while maintaining its simplicity.
Ryan Oldenburg, the brains behind the supremely popular app, has previously expressed his appreciation of the platform and its open source nature. “There’s like a billion Android phones out there that can run our apps and the Android SDK lets apps do some really amazing things that aren’t possible on other platforms,” he said during our Android Influencers interview. This new feature is not just another neat way to get third-party notifications pushed to you, but it’s also another example of how customizable the Android platform can be.
How to get started
Subscribing to a Pushbullet channel is easy, provided you have the service set up. In the Google Chrome extension, click on the “View pushes” option in the upper right-hand corner to go to your profile page. On the left-hand side, hover over Subscriptions and select the plus sign. From here, you can subscribe to individual channels to get updates.