Phone integration

KDE Connect 1.3.0

KDE Connect is a utility I fell in love with at first sight. You install an app on your Android device and another on your Linux desktop, and your phone and computer become part of the same computing environment. Phone notifications appear on your desktop, your desktop notifications appear on your phone, your music player will stop playing if you get a call, and you can browse your phone's filesystem from the desktop file manager. There's even a command-line interface and keyboard and touchpad emulation from your phone. While these initially sound like gimmicks, they've actually saved me serious hassle when mouse batteries have failed – on more than one occasion! As most of us spend a considerable part of the day working on a computer with a phone nearby, it's amazing that something like this didn't exist sooner. It's a credit to the KDE team behind this utility for implementing it in such a way that actually works and remains useful.

When I first looked at KDE Connect in these pages, it had yet to cause a ripple. Despite already being brilliant, its requirements of a cutting-edge version of KDE and the installation of an Android app of dubious origin (for free!) possibly slowed down adoption. But over a year later, it's gone from strength to strength. There have been a constant stream of updates with new features, and there's now even a version that decouples itself from the majority of KDE Plasma bindings that make it work so well with KDE. There's even the promise of a version that uses Bluetooth rather than a common network connection for those times you need KDE Connect synergy without wanting to connect to a network. This release, version 1.3.0, is also a strong step forward, with better Nautilus support, working album art transfers, and wildcards for file transfers from the command line. If you're a Gnome user who has been sitting on the fence, now is the time to try it.

Project Website

KDE Connect works well in lots of situations, but it's particularly good at remote control, such as with a Kodi-running PC.

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