Ludicrous Software

Courier: Send Web Pages From Chrome to Mobile

I’ve made available a browser extension for Chrome that I’m calling “Courier”, which lets you easily send a web page from Chrome on your Android or iOS device to Chrome on your desktop. You can get it from the Chrome Web Store.

Read on for installation/usage instructions.

Very often I find myself opening a web page on my phone and realizing that I’d like to read the page later when I’m at my desk. The article might be longer than I have time for, not work well on my phone, or be something that I want to keep for future reference. There are lots of different solutions for this sort of thing - right now when I hit the ‘share’ button in my phone’s browser I’m presented with over a half-dozen options, including Evernote, Dropbox, emailing the link, and others. I default to emailing myself the link, since this has been the quickest route and tends to leave the least amount of stuff to clean up afterwards.

But it’s still a hassle. Sending the email is easy but not immediate, I soon get a notification on my phone that I’ve received an email from myself (which I hate), it clutters my inbox, I need to remember to sort through my email when I’m back at my desk to find these emails (I email links to myself a few times a day), and then I need to delete the email. Each of these things by themselves isn’t a significant headache, but they all add up.

Courier is meant to solve this problem. It simply scans a particular bookmark folder for new bookmarks; when it finds one, it opens it in a new tab and deletes the bookmark. If you want to give it a try, here’s what’s required:

  1. You need to be logged in to your Google account and have enabled the “sync bookmarks” feature in your account.

  2. After you’ve installed the extension, it will look for a bookmark folder called “Courier Bookmarks” inside your “Other Bookmarks” folder. If it doesn’t find one, it will create it for you. After your bookmarks sync, you’ll have that “Courier Bookmarks” folder available for you in Chrome for Android.

  3. When you want to send a web page from mobile to your desktop, simply bookmark the page, making sure to save the bookmark in the “Courier Bookmarks” folder.

  4. That’s it! Courier scans that folder on a regular basis (about once per minute). When it finds a bookmark, it opens the page and deletes the bookmark. You can also click the Courier icon in Chrome to manually check for new bookmarks.

This is a 1.0 release, so it does the basic stuff that I want it to do. I have some ideas for future versions (including the option to not delete the bookmark and let you specify the bookmark folder you’d like to use), but that will be driven largely by user uptake and interest. Like I said, it solves my problem, so if there’s no interest from users in more features, it’ll likely stay as it is.