Tag Archives: android

MConnect, the Android GNOME Shell Extension, Has Been Updated

android integrate gnome shellAn updated version of mConnect, the GNOME extension that helps you integrate your Android device with the Linux desktop, is now available. Rolling out on the GNOME Extensions site now, the update adds minor improvements to the Android-ingratiating add-on, including support for keyboard shortcuts, and tooltips to provide helpful pointers about its various features. You can […]

This post, MConnect, the Android GNOME Shell Extension, Has Been Updated, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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How To Flash Android (Flyme) On Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition

Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition
This is a quick guide for how to reflash Fyme OS on Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition. Flyme is based on Android with some redesign along with extras. It doesn’t ship with Google apps, but those are easily installable.

You can flash Flyme 5.1.12G or 6.1.0G (released recently), both based on Android 5.1. To see what’s new in Flyme 6, check out THIS page. Using the steps below, you should receive future Flyme OS updates automatically, so there’s no need to reflash anything manually for any OS updates.

Flash Android (Flyme) On Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition)

Before proceeding, make sure your phone is charged. Also, like with any flashing procedure, this may brick your device, so use these instructions at your own risk! And finally, I should mention that I didn’t yet try to perform a reverse procedure (install Ubuntu Touch back) so if you plan on doing this in the future, you’ll have to figure out how to do it yourself.

1. What you’ll need

1.A. adb and fastboot.

In Ubuntu, adb and fastboot are available in the official repositories. To install them, use the following commands:

sudo apt install adb fastboot

These can also be downloaded from HERE (for Linux, Mac and Windows).

1.B. Flyme firmware (global version).

The Meizu MX4 global firmware is available to download from HERE.

1.C. recovery.img from Flyme OS.

This can be downloaded from HERE or HERE.

Place the firmware along with the recovery image in your home folder.

2. Enable Developer mode on your Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition (About phone > Developer mode).

3. You may encounter an error with adb / fastboot not detecting the Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition device. To fix this, open the ~/.android/adb_usb.ini file with a text editor (if it doesn’t exist, create the “.android” folder in your home directory, and a file called adb_usb.ini inside this folder) and paste the following in this file:
0x2a45
… and save the file.

On Windows, this file is available under C:Users<user name>.android

4. Flash the recovery and Flyme OS

4.A. Connect the Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition device to your computer via USB (USB 2.0 is recommended because it looks like there might be issues with USB 3.0), then reboot in bootloader mode and flash the recovery:
adb reboot-bootloader
fastboot flash recovery recovery.img

(or enter the exact path to where you downloaded “recovery.img”)

Note that the phone must be unlocked when doing this. Also, the first time you use adb, the phone will ask if you want to allow the connection – make sure you click “Accept”!
In theory, you should be able to reboot to bootloader by holding volume down + power buttons, and into recovery by holding volume up + power, but these didn’t work for some reason on my device (I don’t remember if only one of them or both), that’s why I used commands instead in this article.

4.B. Next, power up the phone and after Ubuntu Touch boots, run the following command to reboot into recovery:
adb reboot recovery

From the recovery screen (which is in Chinese), you need to get to a screen which displays the “adb sideload” command at the bottom. You get to this by selecting the various options in the recovery screen, but unfortunately I forgot which one (and I didn’t took a picture). So unfortunately I can’t tell you exactly how to get there, but remember that “adb sideload” should be displayed at the bottom when you get to the right option.

Once you get to the screen I mentioned above, run the following command

adb sideload update.zip

(or enter the exact path to where you downloaded “update.zip”)

On the next reboot, your Meizu MX4 should run Flyme instead of Ubuntu Touch. Note that the first boot might take a long time!

Quick Flyme OS tips for new users

Meizu MX4 Flyme

And finally, a couple of tips if you’re new to Flyme OS.
Meizu MX4 has only 1 button, so to perform a “back” function, instead of using a dedicated button, you’ll need to touch the Meizu MX4 button once.
To go to the home screen you’ll have to swipe up on the Meizu MX4 button.
To install Google Play Store and other Google apps, you’ll need the Meizu Google Apps Installer. This is available in the Meizu store, or you can grab an APK from HERE.

Rooting the device is very easy. You’ll need to create a Meizu account and log in to it on the Meizu MX4. Next, go to Settings > Security > Root Permission and agree to the terms. That’s it.

References:

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Android Candy: Landing on the Moon, with your Thumbs

I do a lot of system administration with my thumbs. Yes, if I’m
home, I grab a laptop or go to my office and type in a real terminal
window. Usually, when things go wrong though, I’m at my daughters’ volleyball
match or shopping with my wife. Thankfully, most tasks can be done
remotely via SSH. There are lots of SSH clients for Android, but my
favorite is JuiceSSH.
more>>

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Anbox Lets You Run Android Apps on the Linux Desktop

Meet Anbox, a novel new way to run Android apps on the Linux desktop. “Anbox puts the Android operating system into a container, abstracts hardware access and integrates core system services into a GNU Linux system. Every Android application will behave integrated into your operating system like any other native application,” the projects says on its official […]

This post, Anbox Lets You Run Android Apps on the Linux Desktop, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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New KDE Connect Indicator Ubuntu / Linux Mint PPA

The KDE Connect Indicator (fork) PPA maintainer is not available any more, and I was asked to create a new PPA. 

KDE Connect Indicator

Since I’m a KDE Connect Indicator user myself, I couldn’t say no, so I created a new KDE Connect Indicator PPA, which provides packages for Ubuntu 17.04, 16.10 and 16.04 / Linux Mint 18.x.

I didn’t upload packages for Ubuntu 14.04 / Linux Mint 17.x because I couldn’t build the latest KDE Connect for this Ubuntu version due to newer dependencies, and Ubuntu 14.04 has a pretty old KDE Connect version.
The KDE Connect Indicator (fork) developer is also looking for someone that can create and maintain Flatpack and Snap packages. If you can help, see THIS bug report.
In case you’re not familiar with KDE Connect Indicator, this is an indicator / tray for KDE Connect. Using KDE Connect, you can mirror Android notifications on the desktop, easily send and receive files from an Android device to your desktop (and the other way around), control desktop media players from Android, share the clipboard between your Android device and desktop, and more.
Check out our KDE Connect Indicator fork article for more information.

Install KDE Connect Indicator fork in Ubuntu or Linux Mint via new PPA

As a reminder, KDE Connect depends on quite a few KDE packages. You may want to save the KDE package list that’s installed to make it easier to remove in the future, in case you want to remove them (“apt autoremove” won’t remove all of them, at least in Ubuntu).
To add the new KDE Connect Indicator fork PPA and install the app in Ubuntu 17.04, 16.10 or 16.04 / Linux Mint 18.x, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/indicator-kdeconnect
sudo apt update
sudo apt install indicator-kdeconnect

You can also download the latest KDE Connect Indicator deb from GitHub, but you won’t receive updates through your system’s update manager. For Ubuntu 16.04 and 16.10 / Linux Mint 18, you’ll also need a newer KDE Connect version for the indicator to work. KDE Connect 1.0.3 is available for Ubuntu 16.04 / Linux Mint 18 and Ubuntu 16.10 in the PPA.

If you encounter bugs, report them @ GitHub.

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PB For Desktop 5.0.0 Brings Support For SMS Notification Mirroring

PB For Desktop 5.0.0 was released today, bringing some important enhancements and fixes, like support for SMS mirroring, improved reconnection (in case the network gets disconnected), and more.

PB For Desktop

In case you’re not familiar with PB For Desktop, this is an unofficial desktop application for Pushbullet, a service somewhat similar to KDE Connect (but with no KDE dependencies).
Using it, you can mirror Android notifications on your desktop, send and receive SMS using your Android devices from the desktop, with autocomplete for contacts, and more.

I wrote more about PB For Desktop HERE, so check out our previous article for more about both PB For Desktop and Pushbullet.


PB For Desktop SMS notification

The most important change in the latest PB For Desktop 5.0.0 is the addition of SMS notification mirroring (Android) and rich application pushes. Previously, mirroring notifications from Android to the desktop worked for most applications, but it didn’t work for SMSs.
Another important change is the addition of a more advanced automatic reconnect feature along with connectivity handling. This should fix issues with PB For Desktop not reconnecting automatically after Internet / network gets disconnected (including when resuming from suspend) in some cases.

If this still fails for some reason, there’s a PB For Desktop tray / indicator menu entry that allows you to reconnect it manually (this was available in previous versions), but hopefully that’s no longer needed. Furthermore, an offline state tray icon was added so you can easily see if the app is not online.

Other changes in PB For Desktop 5.0.0 include:

  • improved memory & CPU resource usage;
  • added interface font size control;
  • reduced download and application size by 1/3;
  • fixed application name and title of mirrored pushes;
  • fixed title and body for API url pushes;
  • fixed an issue related to snooze mode.

Also, with this release, the ARM package was removed due to an upstream issue.

Download PB For Desktop

Note that using PB For Desktop requires a Pushbullet account (free or pro). You’ll also need to install the Pushbullet mobile application on your Android or iOS (notification mirroring is not supported for iOS unless you use a MacOS device) device.

(binaries available for Linux: deb, rpm and AppImage, Mac and Windows, as well as the source)

Report any bugs you may find @ GitHub.

Fix PB For Desktop AppIndicator not being displayed in Ubuntu 17.04

Like I mentioned in the previous article on WebUpd8, AppIndicators doesn’t work for Electron applications (and PB For Desktop is an Electron app) in Ubuntu 17.04. To fix this manually, see our previous article or follow these instructions to fix it for PB For Desktop:

A. Fix the menu entry:

mkdir -p ~/.local/share/applications/
cp /usr/share/applications/pb-for-desktop.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/
sed -i 's/^Exec.*/Exec=env XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=Unity "/opt/PB for Desktop/pb-for-desktop"/' ~/.local/share/applications/pb-for-desktop.desktop

B. Fix the autostart file.

To proceed, fix the application menu entry (see above), then make sure PB For Desktop is not already running. Next, start the application from Unity Dash – the PB For Desktop indicator should be working now. From the indicator menu, enable it to autostart on login.

Since PB For Desktop overwrites the the autostart file, we’ll make a copy and use that instead of the original file:
cp ~/.config/autostart/pb-for-desktop.desktop ~/.config/autostart/pb-for-desktop-fixed.desktop
sed -i 's/^Exec.*/Exec=env XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=Unity "/opt/PB for Desktop/pb-for-desktop"/' ~/.config/autostart/pb-for-desktop-fixed.desktop
And finally, disable PB For Desktop from starting automatically on login from its indicator menu (it will still start automatically, using the newly created autostart file).

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`PB For Desktop`: Cross-Platform Desktop App For Pushbullet (Supports Android Notification Mirroring On Linux Desktops)

KDE Connect (with KDE Connect Indicator for Unity and other desktops that support AppIndicators) is great for integrating Android devices with your desktop. However, KDE Connect depends on quite a few KDE packages, which some users don’t want to install on their GTK-based desktops.

An alternative to KDE Connect is Pushbullet. While the free version has some limitations and it doesn’t offer all the features available with KDE Connect, it does provide options to send files up to 25MB, send messages from your desktop (limited to 100/month in the free version, and a storage cap of 2GB) and most importantly, it can mirror your phone’s notifications on the desktop.
Note that Pushbullet requires both the Android device and desktop to be connected to the Internet, but they don’t have to be in the same network.

Pushbullet Pro (US $3.33/mo if you pay yearly or US $4.99/mo if you pay monthly) offers more features, like universal copy & paste, unlimited messages, send files up to 1GB with 100GB storage space and more.
I should also note that Pushbullet supports both Android and iOS but for the former, notification mirroring is only supported on Mac.
On Linux, Pushbullet can be used with a browser extension, however, if you want to use it as a stand-alone app, you can give PB For Desktop a try.

PB For Desktop Ubuntu

PB For Desktop is an unofficial open source Electron-based application for PushBullet, available for Linux, macOS and Windows. Among its features are:

  • mirror Android notifications on your desktop;
  • native desktop notifications;
  • configurable sound notifications;
  • option to snooze notifications for 1, 4 or 8 hours;
  • send and receive SMS using your Android devices from the desktop (with autocomplete for contacts / phone numbers);
  • runs as a tray/appindicator;
  • simple setup, no need to use API keys, etc.;
  • channel-specific icon images for most notifications;
  • previews for pushes containing images;
  • Pushbullet pro only: universal copy & paste.

pushbullet desktop notification Unity

Note: PB For Desktop uses native notifications without any dismissible dialog, so you may miss notifications if you’re away from the computer. A way to avoid missing important notifications on desktops that support AppIndicators is to use Recent Notifications Indicator.

Download PB For Desktop

Download PB For Desktop – includes binaries for Linux (32bit and 64bit deb, rpm, and AppImage), Windows and Mac.

To use it, you’ll also need to install Pushbullet (requires signing up) on your Android or iOS (but remember that for iOS, mirroring notifications on your desktop isn’t supported unless you’re using macOS) device.

As an alternative, you may also want to check out Pushbullet Indicator (hasn’t been updated in a while but it still works).

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