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phone come home

Got an Android phone? Google have released a tweak you'll probably like...

You can now send directions, notes and alarms straight to your phone from your desktop. Even better, you can also find your phone.

A FAIRLY COMMON modern complaint is the gap between desktop and smartphone, particularly at work, or the lack of options when it comes to moving from one device to another.

It is becoming less and less of a problem though. Amazon’s Kindle lets you move from one device to another so you never lose your book-page, instant messagers like Whatsapp have enabled desktop messaging, and now Google have launched a feature which lets directions and notes be sent directly from Google search on desktop to a smartphone.

So what are the practical uses of the feature? Well you can:

  • Find, ring, and even disable your phone remotely using a desktop search
  • Set an alarm
  • Set a reminder
  • Send directions directly to your phone

All of which are pretty useful. The search aid was launched some time ago without fanfare but is only coming to light now.

find my phone The 'Find My Phone' option Google Google

How’s it done? Very, very simply. Just navigate to Google from within your desktop browser (or use the web address bar if you’re using Chrome), then type either ‘Find my phone’, ‘set an alarm’, ‘set a reminder’, ‘note to self’, or ‘send directions to my phone’, hit enter and Bob’s your uncle.

We’ve tested all five and they work fine. The ‘find my phone’ option does require the GPS location services to be enabled on your phone however, which can be a bit of a battery-killer.

alarm Setting an alarm Google Google

On the plus side, if you lose your phone you can also use the service to disable it which is excellent.

Also, even if your phone’s location services are off, you can also ring it. For five minutes. At full volume. Should lead to fun and games in the office.

phone 1 Sending directions Google Google

Strictly speaking the service is supposed to be active in the US only, but this can be rectified by adding ‘&gl=us’  to the search address bar.

Or you can bookmark these searches:

Naturally, for the feature to work you’ll need a Google account to tie your desktop to whichever phone you prefer, although this is something which is pretty much standard at this point.

If you’re having difficulties ( did, so there’s no shame in it!), this checklist should be able to sort you out (bear in mind which Google account you’re logged into if you use more than one).

The service is obviously Android only, and is most likely a response to iOS services like Handoff, a feature of iOS8 that makes switching between your phone and computer a mite simpler.

Read: See how Google Maps has secretly insulted Apple in the most childishly inappropriate way

Read: These are the best browsers you can get for your smartphone

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