How many times have you realized you needed to continue your iPhone browsing session on your laptop or desktop PC? What about when you come across an app for your Mac that you want to download to your PC, not your iPhone?

Sure, there are plenty of options for downloading something to your iPhone or iPad, or even to Dropbox , but there is an unparalleled advantage to seamlessly transferring a link or webpage to your Mac. Whether you want to send a DMG, an installer package, a torrent, or a website that only supports Flash, your options are limited when you try to view them from an iOS app.

Luckily, there are several solutions that have sprung up over the past year. Pushing from a browser to an iPhone has been relatively simple for quite some time, but one-tap solutions to go from iOS to Mac are finally available. Read on for our list of creative services that offer you just that…

Apps

Grazing Browser

Grazing is a universal app with a plethora of useful features. One of which is an integrated web page push service across iOS and PC devices. Once you register all of your compatible devices with Grazing Dashboard, sending your current page to one of them is as simple as tapping the Action button and selecting your destination.

Mac support is available via Grazing Push, free from the Mac App Store. The desktop client will automatically open a received link in your Mac’s default browser. [App Store Link]

Ultimate Browser

Ultimate Browser is another beautiful universal browser which looks great on any iOS device. Ultimate relies on browser extensions which can be good and bad. On the upside, this means cross-platform support for Mac, Windows, and Linux. On the downside this means your browser has to be open to receive a pushed URL.

The support page also mentions a possible crash due to strange behavior on jailbroken devices. The push service has never worked for me, but your mileage may vary. [App Store Link]

PushBrowser

Push Browser is a minimalist iPad and iPhone app that also works via browser extensions on your desktop. It’s not as feature-rich as the above options and has issues with third-party app integration. [App Store Link]

Bookmarklets

Bookmarklets are small javascript web apps that run from the bookmarks menu. Using bookmarklets instead of apps means that you can push links from any browser, including Mobile Safari, iCab, Perfect, etc. You don’t need to any spend money, and you can tinker with JavaScript to customize the workflow to your liking. With iCloud and bookmark sync, setting them up from Safari’s desktop app makes for a painless task.

Grazing Push

In addition to built-in app support for pushing links, Grazing Push Dashboard offers a list of bookmarklets to directly push to any specified device (that has the app installed). You can send to individual devices or to all devices on the list in one go.

Send2Mac

Send2Mac is a free service, albeit in Alpha stage, that works similarly to Grazing. You install a Mac app that runs in the background and add the bookmarklet to any browser; sent links will be opened in your default Mac browser. Do note that the service is buggy and you should give ample time between sending links to ensure the desktop client receives them.

Mr Reader for iPad has built-in Send2Mac support so you can easily push an iDB article to your Mac, for example, if you wanted to have the latest redsn0w download link on the screen for when you get home (or remotely connect).

Above and Beyond

There are other ways to achieve this task. Among the more popular ones are Keepitwith.me, ReadItLater (with Mac app ReadNow), Instapaper, and Safari Reading List. None of these options will instantly open the link in your browser, but the other features make up for that to some users.

I have thrown together a custom Send2Mac client with integrated Prowl support. This lets my iOS device know via a notification that the link is received and I can send another.
Read It Later offers a clever bookmarklet that, when launched, will record every subsequent clicked link and save it to your reading list. I’m in the process of adding similar functionality to the other bookmarklet options, so that I can instantly kick off a download on my Mac from a link in Mobile Safari.

Did I miss anything? What is your preferred method to push links?

  • Frank

    This is an excellent post, very useful when browsing tutorials and guides in the office and want to push them to my iPhone.
    thanks Nick!

  • Alex

    You can also use Firefox Home with Firefox

  • Sj. Disks

  • El_Murcielago

    I always use http://www.myphonedesktop.com/ app.

    You can push links, photos, texts and even make calls and send messages.

  • When I need to send a link from my PC to my iPad, I use PushThePage. It’s activated through a bookmarklet and sends a push notification to the device.
    I don’t send links from my iPad to my PC, though, because I can just read the page on my iPad.

    Ad@m

  • Buck

    I usually just paste a link on pastie . org then go there on my comp copy it

  • Maan harbi

    i use evernote

  • Jimmy

    Why not just use Reading List and iCloud, works flawlessly and instantly and built into both iOS and OS X?

  • Randy

    I agree with Jimmy, what a wasted effort.

  • Jimmy

    Hey Randy, ya, why are people reinventing the wheel?

  • Randy

    Maybe not a fan of the whole round thing