Pushbullet: “a roundabout close to solve the problem of Messaging apps interoperability”
Open standards have been one of the major keys for the success of the telecom industry. Assuring a user could make a call to anyone around the World, no matter the device used, if over a mobile or fixed network, the underlying technology or the network provider, has fostered the successful development of voice telephone… and of the Internet we may add.
But this is not holding true for Messaging services over the Internet. They remain closed proprietary ecosystems, and the only way to send a message to a user within these closed ecosystems is to have that same messaging service the intended recipient is using. This can end up in a user having five messaging Apps on you mobile device, plus some additional ones on his laptop; not very convenient.
Messaging interoperability is not an easy problem to solve. It would require the will and collaboration of the developers of messaging Apps –as having a lawmaker mandating it is highly unlikely and probably also an non proportionate remedy–. So, when technical problems arise and legal solutions are not conceivable, technical solutions come to the rescue:
Pushbullet has made a roundabout solving a few of the inconveniences of having that many messaging Apps. Pushbullet first appeared as an app/software connecting all devices, making them feel like one by allowing to get all phone’s SMS on the computer –and reply to them– and sending files and links from your computer to your phone with a click. Pushbullet has now evolved the service allowing to get all phone’s notifications on your computer – WhatsApp, Telegram, Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, and Line- and reply to all these messages. Message recipients won’t know that you used a computer because Pushbullet is actually sending the response from the phone, which is also convenient as all sent messages will appear in the corresponding messaging app. Currently Pushbullet is available for Android phones and can run on computers as an extension for Chrome, Opera, Firefox and Safari in addition to native apps for Mac OS X app and Microsoft Windows.
Pushbullet does not solve messaging apps interoperability, but provides a good roundabout to the problem and is becoming a universal message app interface. Hopefully we might get Pushbullet for other Mobile OS while integrating further messaging Apps to truly become universal message app interface.
The issue is why did a third party had to come with a solution patching the messaging app ecosystem while no directly involved party came up with any interoperable solution; probably they did not have the incentives.
Definitively, technical problems deserve technical solutions.