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Mobile First: Beyond Design and Development

Posted on December 14th, 2014 by Gerhard

In the last couple of weeks Chrome has gone from a decent browser to something out of a start-up alpha release booklet. It constantly crashes and sometimes won’t load pages, sometimes have blank pages after pages are loaded. These pages included Gmail and Google+ so it wasn’t site related. I had 3 extensions running of which one was Google Hangouts. I then tried switching to Chrome Canary so that I can at least get more frequent updates in the hope that they will plug the holes quickly. That turned out to be even worse than normal Chrome. I also tried completely reinstalling Chrome a couple of times, same shit..

At this point I decided to maybe check out Firefox again, and at first sight it was a lot faster and more stable. The only problem was that I couldn’t find proper plugins to see my twitter notifications or easily tweet and Google decided to only make Hangouts available on their sites or in the form on an extension/app for Chrome, meaning I couldn’t run a desktop version of Hangouts on Firefox.

So now i had a stable browser, but not really connected to any of the services I use every day (oh and Google Inbox only works in Chrome). This is when it hit me, my phone already does all these things. It notifies me of new tweets, I can quickly tweet from it, it notifies me of emails,  new SMSs and WhatsApp messages (something your desktop doesn’t normally do).

I decided to try and switch over to mobile first, but that left me with my initial problem: How do I get all my update notifications on my desktop? Desktop notifications are kind of important to me as I’m quite busy and I can’t interrupt my work and look down to my phone every time I want to see a message in twitter, etc.

After some Googling I found an app and Firefox extension that replicates your mobile notifications on your computer through browser notifications on my desktop called “Android Desktop Notifications” (FirefoxChrome). You install it on your phone and in your “primary” browser (at this point that could be either or). Now I get all the important notifications on my desktop and if I quickly need to reply I can or open the site in question or reply from my phone. If I need to lock down and get some work out I can also disable the plugin.

So my current desktop setup is like this: Standard Chrome without and extensions except for Hangouts (because it will waste too much time to do that on the phone throughout the day) and then Standard Firefox with only this plugin installed. So far everything is running smoothly without any crashes for 2  days, which is a long time on computer.

PS. I’m not sure if a similar application exist for IOS/Mac, but I’m sure there should be something similar to streamline

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