If your computer handles double duty as your multimedia center, getting back and forth from your desk can be a hassle. When you’re working on your computer, it’s hard to get back to your phone whenever a notification pops up. Luckily there’s a powerful piece of free and open-source software to include on your device that can help: KDE Connect.
With this app, you can use your phone as a touchpad and keyboard, a multimedia controller, a remote for presentations, and a file-sharing device. It also sends notifications to both your phone and desktop, so you can keep up with your messages no matter what device you’re using.
What can you do with KDE Connect?
Another useful feature is controlling your media playback from your phone. If you’re watching a movie from a media-center PC connected to the big screen, using a mouse and keyboard from your bed or couch can be inconvenient. Instead, you can control your movie and volume with your phone.
If that movie or music is playing while your phone rings, you can set KDE Connect to pause all media until you hang up the call. This may solve the problem of your phone darting across your stereo before you can even pick it up.
Plus, to avoid multiple notifications for the same app on both devices, you can control which devices notify you about which apps. If you want to receive all your email notifications from only one device, you can uncheck your email client or browser’s notifications from the app.
If you’re using your work PC to manipulate slideshows and multimedia, all of that can be done from your phone. No more juggling between remote, mouse, or volume controls!
Install KDE Connect on Your Phone and PC
First, you need to have the app installed on each device you are using. With both the apps installed, you will be able to communicate between the devices.
Go to the KDE Connect site and download and run
Windows Installer. The program is also available for Linux and macOS. While you are waiting for the KDE Connect installer to complete on your PC, open the Google Play Store and install the KDE Connect Android app.
Since it is free and open-source software, it can also be downloaded from the alternative app store F-Droid.
make your pc discoverable on your phone
KDE Connect enables you to automatically pair your devices.
Firstly, make sure that both the devices are on the same wireless connection. Then, activate KDE Connect on your PC. You should see a Devices menu, ready to pair with any mobile device running KDE Connect.
Next, launch KDE Connect on your Android device. You should see your PC’s name pop up under the menu of available devices.
If the devices can see each other, you can skip to step 3. If they can’t, and you are unable to pair them, you will need to identify your PC’s IP address and pair them that way.
pair your devices
Now, from the KDE Connect app on your phone, tap on your device to pair. You will see a message showing that the device is not paired. Click on Request pairing.
Then, go back to your computer. A menu will pop up showing the pairing request with your phone’s name. Click Accept.
You will now be able to see your computer under Connected devices on your phone.
grant privileges to your pc
Now you just need to make sure that the app is allowed to do everything it needs to. Fortunately, all access can be granted through the Android app from the Options screen of your connected device.
For example, in order to pause your PC media when you have a call, you will need to grant privileges to your phone calls. Additionally, in order to sync text messages between your phone and PC, you will need to grant access to your texts.
If you want to manage phone and computer notifications, you must grant phone notification privileges. This way your phone notifications will pop up on your PC notifications.
Other setup permissions must be granted if you want to use your phone as a touchpad and keyboard, multimedia controller and slideshow remote. This means that you will need to give KDE Connect access as a second keyboard as well as grant accessibility privileges.
How to start using KDE Connect
Now that your devices are connected, you need to make sure they can communicate successfully. A simple way to do this is to send a ping to your computer. From your Android device’s KDE Connect menu press the kebab menu (the three dots on the right) and select Ping. It should send a notification saying “ping” to your computer.