KDE Connect is a tool which allows you integrate the KDE Plasma Workspace with your smartphone (Android only for now), via WiFi.
With the help of KDE Connect Indicator, you can now use KDE Connect in desktops which support Ubuntu AppIndicators, such as Unity, Pantheon (elementary OS), Xfce (Xubuntu) and so on.
For those who aren't familiar with KDE Connect, here's a quick list of features for the latest version (0.7.3 at the time I'm writing this article):
- display notifications from your Android device on your desktop (requires Android 4.3+);
- send files from your Android device to your desktop and the other way around "without wires";
- touchpad emulation: use your phone screen as your computer's touchpad (keyboard emulation is also available);
- shared clipboard between your phone and computer;
- display your phone's battery status on the desktop;
- multimedia remote control: use your Android device to control various Linux media players;
- RSA Encryption.
Most of the KDE Connect features are available as plugins and they can be enabled/disabled from the Android app (by clicking on the device name and then choose "Select plugins" from the app menu).
Here are a couple of KDE Connect Android app screenshots:
The indicator itself comes with the following features:
- displays the device name, status and battery level;
- menu item to request for pairing and unpairing;
- menu item to start sftp and open the file browser.
KDE Connect Indicator also ships with "kdeconnect-send", a small command line tool to send files to your device - this can be used to create Nautilus or Thunar actions to easily send a file from your desktop to your mobile device via right click (to do this, you'd need to create an action which uses "kdeconnect-send %f" as the command).
Furthermore, KDE Connect Indicator comes with a Contractor file, allowing elementary OS users to send files to their Android devices from any elementary OS app.
While I tested KDE Connect Indicator under Ubuntu 14.10 (w/ Unity) and it works great, there are a some limitations right now:
- you can only pair the device by sending the request from the desktop (I'll add instructions below) - that's because Unity (and some other DEs) don't support clicking on notifications to accept or reject the pairing request;
- KDE Connect Indicator depends on KDE Connect (obviously), which depends on quite a few KDE packages that will be installed even though you're not using KDE. Unfortunately there's no way around this.
It's also important to note that KDE Connect Indicator is a new project (about 2 weeks old) and while I didn't encounter any issues with it, you might find bugs. Report any bugs you may encounter (or suggestions) @ GitHub. Report bugs with KDE Connect @ KDE.
Configuring KDE Connect Indicator
1. To be able to use KDE Connect Indicator, you'll have to pair your Android device with your Linux desktop. To to this, launch KDE Connect Indicator on your desktop and KDE Connect on your mobile device (both need to be connected to the same network).
2. Once KDE Connect Indicator detects your mobile device (it does this automatically), a new AppIndicator should show up on your desktop:
From the KDE Connect Indicator menu, select "Request pairing" and then on your phone, accept the pairing request.
Like I was saying above, currently you can only pair the device by sending the request from the desktop (via the KDE Connect Indicator menu) so don't try send the pair request from the mobile device as it won't work.
3. Optional: to get the notifications from your Android device to be displayed on your desktop, open the KDE Connect Android app, click on the device name (under "Connected devices") and at the bottom you should see something like this: "Plugins failed to load (tap for more info): Notification sync" - here, click on "Notification sync" and follow the instructions to enable notifications sync between your phone and desktop.
How to install KDE Connect Indicator and the latest KDE Connect in Ubuntu
Important: Like I mentioned above, installing KDE Connect will drag quite a few KDE dependencies. If later on you want to remove KDE Connect and KDE Connect Indicator, you may want to save the list of packages which are installed by running the install command below, and remove those packages when you remove KDE Connect ("apt-get autoremove" won't work).
Here's the list of packages that are installed along with indicator-kdeconnect and kdeconnect on a fresh Ubuntu 14.10 machine - non-KDE packages included (but these may be different for your, depending on what you've already installed).
Ubuntu / elementary OS (there are packages for Ubuntu 14.04, 14.10 and 15.04 only - and the corresponding eOS version of course) and derivatives users can install KDE Connect Indicator and the latest version of KDE Connect by using the following commands:
Next, install the KDE Connect Android App.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:vikoadi/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install indicator-kdeconnect kdeconnect