Introducing Pushpop - PushBullet alternative for iOS using Nuxt3 with CapacitorJS

If you'd just like to try it out, visit To know the story, read on.

Late last year I moved to iOS. 'Twas a learning curve of course, but the hardest part? No PushBullet :(

I would use PushBullet daily on Android to move files, text and links from my phone to my laptop and vice-versa. I also used it as a kind-of "to-do" app for links or Reddit posts I find on mobile that I want to look into more. Yes I could bookmark it or add it to a todo list, but with Pushbullet I could just push it from my phone, and next time I open my laptop, it'll open up in my browser so I can read it, download it, or save for later in some form. It's great.

I wanted that on iOS, but it looks like it's just not economically viable for them to do it, as I found in this Reddit post:
For those not aware, fully updating our iOS app for the latest versions of Swift, iOS, etc and then adding Sign in with Apple is a huge amount of work. Sadly iOS is our least popular / used platform. It's also the platform we can to the least interesting things. As a result, we've chosen to unpublish it for the time being to focus on the platforms where we can do more interesting things.

Well, damn. What's a reasonably semi-capable developer to do, ay?

Oh look, Nuxt3 just went into release candidate stage...

I love Vue, and have been using Nuxt for the "marketing" portion of a few of my side projects like Reservadesk, Referextra, and to much success. I love how it builds to static HTML and gets those sweet sweet Lighthouse scores.

So of course, over a few nights and weekends I go and build the web app using Nuxt3. And it works pretty well (although I'll talk about some problems I had later). Before too long, I was able to get it to a minimum viable product, so to speak.

Then, we needed to get the app running on mobile devices. For this, I turned to Capacitorjs. I was a bit worried at first, I know building cross-platform mobile applications can be a bit of a minefield, but I really like Capacitorjs. The documentation is great, the ecosystem of plugins is healthy, and I was able to achieve everything I wanted with it (although I'm still, as of time of writing, trying to get Android to work).

After some back and forth and some wrangling, I was able to publish the app on the app store, check it out here - Pushpop.

And it works!

Using my plucky little app, I'm now able to share anything on my phone to pushpop, and have it appear as a notification on my laptop, and vice versa. It makes sending links, screenshots, photos - anything - from one device to another easy.

It does not do some of the more fancier things that PushBullet can do on Android like SMS management etc, but I don't need that. And I'm the primary target market for this app 😂.

What's next?

There are a few things I'd like to do next with the app:

  • Get it running on Android and put it in the Play store
  • Some UI/UX improvements to make it easier to navigate and quicker to share things from within the app itself
  • Fix a bug where it's re-counting devices for some reason (I think on app update)
  • Add a configuration so that when it's running on a desktop device, it can auto-open links and files in the browser when they're received.
  • (Maybe) see if I can get it running in Electron again and build it for Windows, but when I looked at that last time the documentation seemed lacking and confusing.

Problems I found with Nuxt3

Sorry but I still cannot figure out how to use plugins like I did in the older version. Any plugins that have to render a html component I just couldn't get to work, like one of my favourites vue-json-pretty. If someone knows, please enlighten me.

Another thing I was trying to do was build middleware which would automatically redirect the user to https if the request was http. I still haven't figured it out and am relying on the frontend to detect and redirect 🤮. I think I need to build a Nitro plugin to handle it but that's brand new as a technology it seems and is quite light on documentation and guides.

What else did I learn?

Building for iOS is a certifiable nightmare. Why do Apple make things so unbelievably difficult?

  • Terrible documentation like this page which is supposed to tell you what CFBundleTypeName is in your info.plist file. But no. It just tells you it's required, is a string, and its name is Document Type Name. Trying to cobble together what this value actually means is next to impossible.
  • Bugs in Xcode where the Apple developer forum just recommends downgrading to an older version.
  • The inability to test push notifications properly in the simulator
  • App Store Connect which is an absolute nightmare to try and navigate and figure out where you are and what you're doing.

Tools used

Tools tried

  • Tauri. I saw this on fireship's Youtube channel and wanted to give it a try. Turns out it's just a little too new so I turned to Electron
  • Electron. Turns out your iOS app can run on mac. Who knew? :D

If you've made it this far, I'd love your feedback. Comment below or check out (yes it's a support form but just put in whatever you think is good/bad 🙂)

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