<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/shutterstock_72662731.jpg”>I recently wrote an article about five highly useful extensions for the Safari web browser. A few days after that article ran, I stumbled upon another extension that I’ve been needing ever since I started using the iPhone (and now the iPad). I can’t count how many times I have downloaded a webpage on my iPad that I wanted to view on one of my Mac computers, and vice versa. In order to send a URL from my iOS device, I would literally have to email the URL to myself or save it to my Instapaper account for later viewing.
But now a simple and highly useful Safari extension appropriately called SendTab is just the solution to this problem. Simply put, SendTab allows you to send a selected webpage to one or more computers on your network. When it arrives on the remote computer, it automatically downloads in your networked web browser. It happens within seconds.
The only downside to the extension is that you can only send URLs from iOS devices, but not to them. The extension works both ways using Chrome, but you can only, for some reason, send URLs from Firefox to Safari – not the other way around. In other words, this extension works best if you’re a Safari or Chrome user.
Perhaps I misunderstood the instructions, but I initially had problems setting up the SendTab network on my computers, and I noticed a few other users complained as well. What I figured out is that after you download and install the SendTab extension, you need to create a Network account. The registration page ask for a “Network Name.” It sounds like a name that you need to locate on your computer, but it’s not. It simply means a “sign-in” name – you can put whatever name you like and will remember, and then create a password.
After you have logged into your account, sign in again on your other computer and/or iOS device.
When you link to your network account, your computers – but not your iOS device – should be listed. Otherwise they will not receive the URLs you send to them. Basically your URLs are sent to your account and then forwarded over to your computers on your network.
To send URLs from your iPad or iPhone, you need to add a bookmarklet to the Safari web browser on your device. There are instructions for setting up the bookmarklet, but that might be a tad bit confusing as well. Here are the steps to install the bookmarklet on your iOS device:
- In Safari on your iOS device, link to the SendTab page and click on the SendTab link on the left side of the page, right above the instructions.
- Save the SendTab bookmark in Bookmarks.
- Now open the the Bookmarks page and tap the Edit button. Now tap on the SendTab bookmark to edit its existing URL.
- Click the Done button and exit out of Bookmarks.
- Tap the Export button on your iOS device and select “Add Bookmark”. (in the SendTab website instructions, it says “+” button, but I believe that refers to the older version of iOS.)
Now you can send URLs from your iOS device to your designated computer(s) on your network. A SendTab box will appear after you tap the bookmarklet in your device. You may have to scroll up to the top of the selected webpage to tap the SendTab window.
SendTab works well for what it does, though it could use a few more features. Sent pages automatically open in the computer you send them to. If your remote computer is asleep when a URL is sent, it may take a few seconds for the webpage to download after the computer is awakened. It would be useful if a Growl notification would appear when URLs are sent and received by SendTab. Also, once a URL is sent, there’s no option to keep it from being download in the remote computer it was sent to.
These are just minor issues with SendTab, an extension utility that quite frankly should be built into Safari itself, especially since many Mac users work between one or more computers.
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