KDE Connect: Making friends between Android and the Linux desktop

It would seem like all the big proprietary operating system vendors are working on knitting their desktop and mobile platforms tighter together.KDE Connect通过作为两者之间的桥梁填补Linux和Android之间的这个差距的步骤。

KDE Con​​nect支持剪贴板共享和文件传输等功能,但与其他平台上的对应物相同,它远非完美。

KDE Con​​nect由Android应用程序和后台服务组成,手机上运行和在Linux桌面上运行的辅助进程。您还可以使用两种电话或两台计算机 - 甚至几种类型的设备。我使用运行GNOME的两个Linux桌面和运行Android版本6的Nexus 5x(以及稍后的'n'预览)。

KDE Connect is optimized to work for the KDE/Plasma desktop environment. Of course, as I’m using the GNOME desktop on a day-to-day basis it made more sense for me to review how KDE Connect fairs under GNOME rather than Plasma. Unless noted otherwise, all issues and odd behavior discussed in this review will have been tested under recent versions of both GNOME and KDE.

KDE Connect is clearlya work in progress。我会审查它 - 是因为它是因为我看到产品中的潜力,而不是因为我想对开发人员表示意思。如果我不喜欢它,我不会通过审查它而感到困扰。

I’ll go through KDE Connect’s main features and discuss each of them in detail:

Clipboard sharing

剪贴板分享通常很好地工作,几乎瞬间。您从Android设备上的应用程序复制内容,并可以立即将其粘贴在您的PC上或反之亦然。我发现这是KDE Con​​nect的功能最有用的,特别是在网浏览器和移动浏览器之间共享URL时。

“KDE Connect” also shows up in the Share menu on Android. If I’m in a mobile web browser on Android and choose the Share menu: Copy to clipboard, I get the URL and can then paste it in the browser on my PC. If I choose KDE Connect in the Share menu, the current page’s HTML is opened in my default text editor (Kate when I’m using KDE, or gedit when I’m using GNOME) on my PC automatically. I would have hoped that it just opened the URI and opened it using standard methods for opening arbitrary URI protocols in any desktop environment, but it seems to literally share the HTML file to a text editor instead. I’m puzzled as to whether this is the intention or a weird quirk with how KDE Connect has been implemented.

剪贴板共享有时会失败,桌面上没有指示灯,也没有在Android上显示它正在工作。当Android决定暂时关闭Wi-Fi或KDE连接后台服务以节省电池电量或释放设备内存时,这可能使其成为令人沮丧的经验。它通常很好地工作,但由于它有时会失败,而不会让任何迹象失败,它难以信赖,这一直很难相信“只是作品”。

I’ve never overwritten the clipboard on one device with the contents of another. It would seem that mentally, I’m only capable of managing one clipboard so having them synced between devices seem to be a good thing. The only trouble is when I’m using Windows or macOS, and it takes a second to realize that I can’t share the clipboard between devices. It only took a month before I started expecting it to work every time with all of my devices.

The clipboard sharing functionality doesn’t work when running the Wayland display server due to Wayland having much stricter security policies than the old X window server. Wayland is about to become the default display server in many Linux distributions so this is kind of a big issue. I believe we’re one release-version off from the honorable X giving way for Wayland in the more forward-thinking Linux distributions. SeeKDE bug #359747which unfortunately lacks any acknowledgment from the KDE Connect developers.

File Transfer-esque

KDE Con​​nect允许您在PC和手机之间发送文件。截至目前,这更像是概念的证据,而不是完全烘焙和可用的功能。它需要一些关于它的工作原理的前景,这并没有记录,也没有直观地推断。

从您的手机发送到PC涉及打开应用程序并选择“发送文件”或选择KDE Con​​nect作为支持应用程序的共享目的地。这里的经验就像是善于的一样,它得到了天然的Android用户体验。在PC上的接收端,该文件将静默出现在〜/下载文件夹中。如果您已启用通知同步,您将收到关于从手机同步的传输的通知。PC上没有通知,超出手机中的同步。但是,通知将无法识别文件存储的位置。

To transfer in the other direction from your PC to your phone, you’ll need to be using the Dolphin file browser. Right-click on any file and choose Send to KDE Connect which will then open a dialog where you can choose which of your KDE Connect-enabled devices you want to transfer the file to.

When you transfer files from your PC to Android, they’re stored in/存储/仿真/ 0 / kdeConnect / pc-hostnamewhich isn’t only inconsistent with where files end up on the PC, but also inaccessible without a third-party file manager. The only folder where arbitrary files are available without the aid of a third-party file manager app is the Downloads folder using the Downloads app (installed by default). Interestingly enough, the Download folder in the user’s home folder is where files sent from the phone end up on the PC.

与文件传输的最大问题之一functionality is that only small files are supported. If you attempt to transfer a larger file it will report back that the transfer worked without transferring the whole file. When transferring photos and movies off a phone, you’ve to manually verify that you’ve got the whole file transferred to your PC.

KDE Connect Monitor on the PC has an unlabelled button with a files and folders icon. Under GNOME, pressing this button will open a meaningless folder in the GNOME File Manager. Pressing this button under KDE will open the Dolphin file manager and give read-write access to the Android device’s internal storage from within Dolphin. Why this button can’t open Dolphin when it’s installed in GNOME and obviously must be opened with Dolphin to provide this functionality is beyond me. I’ve no idea how this extension is implemented in Dolphin, but the integration in KDE could have been done in a better way than “show this special-purpose folder in the environment’s default file manager”. For example, associating a new URI with Dolphin for this purpose would have made this work more reliable.

A feature that I would like to see being added here’s the ability to choose the Camera as a media source when transferring from Android to the PC. In Android apps, you’re are often asked whether to browse your existing files/gallery or whether you want to take a new picture or video recording when choosing a file to transfer. Having this as a quick way to take a photo using the phone and transfer it to the PC directly would be very useful. I hope to see this standard Android user interface component implemented in the app in the future.

Notification hell

Keeping notifications on your PC and phone in sync is such a good idea in concept. However, in practice it’s absolutely terrible and it’s not KDE Connect’s fault.

I find most notifications distracting and I come at this from the premise of wanting to reduce my amount of distractions and notifications. Notifications are a systematized distraction and productivity nightmare. This was definitely not a design goal for KDE Connect, and this will taint this part of the review significantly – but hear me out on this.

KDE Con​​nect中通知同步功能的GIST在您的PC和手机上的通知同时发出通知。但是,解雇对一个设备上的通知并不能将其忽略。如果您收到聊天或电子邮件通知,您可能会在您的电脑上收到一次,并在手机上一次。KDE Con​​nect设置为推送您在手机上的通知到您的电脑,因此您现在有三个重复通知同一件事。每个人都在彼此几秒钟内到达。

There’s a great need for better integration into notification systems and a better understanding of each notification. For KDE Connect to be useful, it would have to deduplicate notifications even when they’re arriving from different programs on different devices. If I’m currently active on my PC, the notification on my phone must be suppressed when it shows up on my PC. Otherwise it’s literally just adding more noise.

But it’s not just that different systems create duplicate notifications. KDE Connect itself also introduces more notifications than required. Missed calls on your phone show up on your PC from the dialler plugin in KDE Connect, and from a synced notification from the Android system UI, as well as from the ringer app on the phone. Three virtually identical notification about the same event is thus trust into your PC’s notification system.

KDE Connect puts all the responsibility for making synced notifications a good experience on the user’s ability to micro-manage their own notifications.

You can micro-manage and tweak notifications in both the Android system and the KDE Connect app to choose which notifications are to show up or be synchronized to your PC. This wouldtake hours to properly configure如果您的PC不活动或不可用,则不会解决您如何在手机上获取某些通知。调整此设置并从中获取任何值需要实际承诺。

根据KDE开发者,连接一个未来version of KDE Connect from Android will introduce the ability to reply to SMS messages from your PC, but no word on whether it will work with Android’s reply-to-message-type notifications from just about any messaging app or just the SMS system. The same version will also introduce the ability to push notifications from your PC over to your phone.

Remote input control and command execution

You can remote control the mouse cursor and send keyboard inputs through the app, but you can’t see the screen of the device you’re controlling. I’m not entirely sure when this is supposed to be useful, but it’s there and it does work quite well. I mention it in the review as its one of the features that work the best even though it’s mostly a novelty feature.

Without some form of screen sharing, you’re completely dependant on seeing the actual screen. You could normally just reach out and use the keyboard in this situation, but in a home multimedia center setup, this could still prove useful.

There are user interface elements in the app for multimedia controls, but I haven’t been able to get it to respond when using any multimedia applications. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to work at all, but there’s a video demonstrating it in action floating around the web.

该应用程序而不是尝试与某些媒体应用程序集成,而是可以向多媒体键发送半标标键代码。在许多键盘和笔记本电脑键盘上发现的多媒体键,已经适用于大多数媒体程序,并将使多媒体控制功能可用于更多用户,并且需要更少的实施工作。

Conclusion

KDE Con​​nect有潜力,但它肯定需要更多的工作。它显然没有规定的目标或目的,并试图对每个人都有一点点。在尝试在任何更多的功能之前,它迫切需要一些焦点和更抛光现有功能。

名字KDE Connect使其听起来独家可用于KDE等离子体桌面环境,但没有理由为什么它应该仅适用于KDE。我希望看到该项目重新命名并将手延伸到其他免费桌面环境。它将加强项目并在更多用户中绘制,并希望更多的开发人员兴趣。

Based on some of the behaviors I’ve observed, I think it’s fairly safe to say that KDE Connect works in mysterious ways. There are standard methods available to achieve much of the desktop environment/Android system behavior they’re going for, but the developers seem to have chosen their own way of doing things for most of it.

所有额外的功能都很好,但我的杀手功能是剪贴板共享,它可能是直接和简单的照片传输。如果后者可以更可靠地工作,我认为KDE Con​​nect会有一个很好的核心产品。通过更具聚焦的核心功能集,甚至可以展开扩展以覆盖麦斯卡斯和Windows等平台。

KDE Connect as it appears today is a good clipboard syncing utility and the other features are fun little toys. However, as the clipboard sharing feature is at risk due to the Wayland situation, you shouldn’t grow too attached to KDE Connect until that issue is fully resolved.

Pro: High marks for concept and innovation. Cons: Poor execution, branding limits potential reach.

You can download the Android app for free fromF-DroidAmazon Appstore, 或者谷歌播放商店。You’ll find thekde-connect包装包括其控制面板模块,包括最近的Linux发行版的包存储库中。

I tested version 0.9 of KDE Connect, with Plasma Desktop version 5.6.5 and GNOME Desktop version 3.20.2; all as distributed in Fedora 24. The Android app version 1.2 was used for this review.