Send a URL to your Ubuntu phone with Caxton

I fairly often need to send a URL from my desktop to my phone; there has been a product called Chrome2phone (and Fox2phone) for Android for this for years, and there’s Ansible for iPhones. But not for an Ubuntu phone. At least until now.

Caxton does precisely that; you install the Caxton app on your Ubuntu phone and add the Caxton extension to Chrome or Firefox and then you can just click the button to send the URL you’re looking at in your desktop browser to your Ubuntu phone. Hooray!

but that’s not all

Caxton is quite a lot more general than that. You can use it to send any URL from anywhere to any app on your Ubuntu phone. For example, Caxton works with IFTTT. Do you want to get a notification on your phone when your package ships? Use IFTTT and make a recipe which gets alerts from your courier and sends a note to your phone. Need immediate alerts if your scripts fail? Add a line to your script which sends a message to the Caxton API on failure and you’ll never miss an alert again. And you don’t have to just send web URLs. If you’re an app developer on Ubuntu and you want your users to be able to send things from other devices or computers to your app, then you can have your app register for a custom URL and then have your users install Caxton; Caxton then handles all the push notifications stuff for you and your users get all the benefits of instant push while saving you the need to run a server.


I shall say thank you here to Alan Pope and Mike Sheldon for early testing, Marc Deslauriers for security and privacy advice, and Sam Hewitt for icon design. Speaking of privacy advice, Caxton is very careful to not explicitly store details of what you send through it, and it doesn’t know who you are; it also doesn’t keep a record of your tokens.

so let me know

If you find Caxton useful (or if you find it broken) do let me know on twitter or google+; I’d love to see people easily sending web pages over to their phone, and using the API to do cool things that I haven’t thought of!

I'm currently available for hire, to help you plan, architect, and build new systems, and for technical writing and articles. You can take a look at some projects I've worked on and some of my writing. If you'd like to talk about your upcoming project, do get in touch.

More in the discussion (powered by webmentions)

  • Folmer Fredslund responded at Nice that there's a link to the unofficial appstore :-)
  • Michał Prędotka responded at Is it possible to make it also sending from phone to computer?
  • Stuart Langridge responded at +Michał Prędotka no, because computers don't have a push notifications thing. Some specific ones do (Apple machines can be pushed to; desktop Chrome c…
  • Michał Prędotka responded at +Stuart Langridge thanks for explanation. What I have in mind is: I browse on my bq phone, see some interesting website, select "share" in the browser…
  • Stuart Langridge responded at +Michał Prędotka ah, no. Caxton works by sending push notifications. What you want would require Caxton to store stuff on its server, which I don't wa…
  • Michał Prędotka responded at +Stuart Langridge ok, I get it now. 😃
  • Robin Sheat responded at What browser is Ubuntu phone using? I can send URLs between any of the Firefox instances I run. Super handy. Built into Firefox mobile and made acces…
  • Folmer Fredslund responded at likes this. (
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  • Stuart Langridge responded at +Robin Sheat the browser is built by the Ubuntu team and based on Blink, the Chrome rendering engine. It'd be cool to see Firefox on Ubuntu phones, th…
  • Tom Villa responded at likes this. (
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  • Mike Sheldon responded at I keep meaning to write an irssi plugin to send hilight notifications via Caxton when away. That'd be super handy, I've so far failed to find the time…
  • Simon Davy responded at likes this. (
  • Stuart Langridge responded at +Mike Sheldon if I were an irssi person I might do that :) Shouldn't be hard, although I appreciate that even easy stuff takes time
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  • Fiona C responded at +Michał Prędotka I use +Stuart Langridge's Readability app to do that. Send the page to readability on phone then pick it up later on desktop. Pocket…
  • Robin Sheat responded at +Stuart Langridge​ Ah right, my suggestion wasn't so useful then :-) I do hope Firefox gets ported soon. It'd also be interesting to see a servo-based…
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  • Stuart Langridge responded at +Fiona C huh. I didn't know my readability app did that. Readability remembers pages you've looked at? That's pretty cool. Glad it was able to help yo…
  • Fiona C responded at +Stuart Langridge lol 😉 Yes, if you tap the 'read later' button at the top right in your app it takes you to your Readability account and stores the p…
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