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Make your PC and smartphone work together

Microsoft (MSFT) Windows users have at least one good reason to be jealous of their Apple (AAPL) Macintosh co-workers: Continuity is a cool Mac OS feature that lets you seamlessly resume certain activities on the computer after leaving off on your phone. And vice-versa. Not unlike the way you can pick up a phone call on your iPad that originated on your iPhone, the Mac is like a desktop extension of the iPhone.

Windows users haven't previously had that convenience, but an app called Pushbullet closes the gap considerably.

At its core, Pushbullet lets you share content effortlessly between your smartphone -- either iPhone or Android -- and PC. Imagine you're reading a Web page on your iPhone and you want to get the link to your desktop. You could copy the URL and paste it into an email.

With Pushbullet, you can choose Pushbullet from Safari's Share menu and then send it to PushBullet on your PC. The link doesn't just show up in a text box. The Web page actually opens automatically in your browser, sort of like the way Jack Bauer would say "send it to my screen" all the time on the TV show "24."

And here's where it gets even more interesting: You can install Pushbullet on multiple PCs and share content with any device. You can even add contacts to Pushbullet -- other Pushbullet users -- and share content with them more easily than with email.

Sharing links is just one way to use Pushbullet. The app also lets you send files, like documents or photos, as well as brief text notes from the desktop to your phone. All this might not sound like much, but if you've ever scrambled to get links or files from your phone to your desktop, or the other way around, you know how annoying it is to shuttle data around via email. Pushbullet makes it all elegant and effortless.

Apple's Continuity, of course, lets you take phone calls on your desktop and see your iMessage texts there as well. Pushbullet isn't quite that sophisticated.

That said, the Windows desktop app does support SMS messages with Android phones (and that capability might be coming to iPhone users as well according to some teasers from Pushbullet). In a nutshell, you can send texts from the convenience of your Windows desktop and they'll be sent via your phone.

To use Pushbullet, you need to install the app on your Android or iPhone, and then install a browser extension or the Windows desktop client app on each PC that you want to access. It's all free, and works effortlessly well.

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