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KDE Connect on Plasma Mobile

The digital world has changed over the last 10 years. The usage of mobile devices skyrocketed whereas the desktop market is stagnating. The trend is also going towards smaller and convertible devices. The mobile market is controlled by two major corporations. One of them is religiously cutting down your personal freedom and aiming towards a walled garden proprietary ecosystem, the other one is disrespecting your privacy enormously. With Plasma Mobile the KDE community is envisioning a mobile experience that is giving you maximal freedom while ensuring your privacy. It seems like a bold venture, but we have to at least try, right? Plasma Mobile would not be a true KDE project without the same degree of integration with the desktop as we already have with Android devices. Therefore we aim to make Plasma Mobile a first-class citizen of KDE Connect.

How far are we?

Thanks to Aleix Pol there is a suitable UI for KDE Connect on Plasma Mobile already in our git tree. I was able to run it on Plasma Mobile. It has some rough edges, but is basically functional. IMG_20180607_192146 Some features that work so far:

  • Control media players
  • Remote mouse input
  • Lock the remote device
  • Find the remote device
  • Receive files
  • Receive remote commands

IMG_20180607_192849

Why do I care about Plasma Mobile at all?

Chances are high that you won’t be dropping your Android phone for Plasma Mobile anytime soon. But even then you will be profiting from our efforts. To achieve feature parity with Android we will need to port some of the Android features to C++/Qt. This will benefit all your connected devices that run the C++ version of KDE Connect, e.g. other desktop devices, Sailfish OS phones or phones/tablets running another version of Linux (e.g. Ubuntu Touch). The new UI also provides room to integrate some controls that are only available on Plasma right now. This will improve the KDE Connect experience for non-Plasma desktop users.

Sounds great, what can I do?

You want to help? Awesome! I created a meta-task on Phabricator to track the current progress. It contains all the things that should be done as sub-tasks. Some of them are ideal beginner tasks. Just pick one you like and don’t be shy to ask for help. You don’t even need to have a phone running Plasma mobile to do it, you can develop it on your desktop machine and thanks to the awesome Kirigami Framework it will run on Plasma Mobile automagically. What are you waiting for?

© Nicolas Fella, 2022
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