A few moments after I send information to my iPhone, I get a push notification, and when I acknowledge it, myPhoneDesktop opens the appropriate app for the information:
- the URL will open in Mobile Safari
- the directions will open in Maps
- the video will open in the YouTube app
- your iPhone will start a call to the number you designate
- the picture can be saved to your iPhone photo library
- text is copied to the clipboard
There are desktop clients for Mac, Windows, and Linux, meaning that you can send information to your iPhone from any computer you want -- they're available for download at MyPhoneDesktop.com
. There's also an option to use it in any browser
While the Mac app may not win any design awards, it's functional and easy to use. There are plugins for LaunchBar and Apple's address book. There's even a bookmarklet to send selected text or images from any webpage directly to your iPhone.
In his Post-I/O Thoughts, John Gruber called the "cloud-to-device" messaging API the "most interesting" upcoming Android feature. The API allows for purchases to be made in the Android Marketplace and have the purchased item pushed to your Android phone. I would love to see Apple do the same for the App Store and sending purchases to iPhones and iPads. With myPhoneDesktop you can send the URL to your iPhone and have the App Store open, but you still have to download it manually.
The second part of the messaging API that John mentioned, however, was taking the URL from your computer browser and sending it to your phone over the air, which is exactly what myPhoneDesktop does. Web pages open in Safari, Google Maps URLs open in Maps. iTunes URLs open in the App Store. Phone numbers open the phone app. SMS messages open in the SMS app (the number is automatically filled in, and the message is on the pasteboard. I presume this is due to limitations in the iPhone's public APIs.) Notes and images can also be sent.
Right now the information only flows one way: "computer to iPhone." I spoke with the developers who said that they plan to add "iPhone to computer" sending later, but did not give an estimate on when that would be. Still, as it stands today, this is well worth the $1.99 price for the iPhone app. The desktop apps are free.
Find it on the App Store.
Update 2:28 p.m. to change the original image to a less confusing one which shows the full keypad.