Tag Archives: android

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.

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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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Integrate Your Android Device With Ubuntu Using KDE Connect Indicator Fork

KDE Connect is a tool which allows your Android device to integrate with your Linux desktop. With KDE Connect Indicator, you can use KDE Connect on desktop that support AppIndicators, like Unity, Xfce (Xubuntu), and so on.

KDE Connect Indicator

The original KDE Connect Indicator hasn’t been updated in about 2 year however, Steeven Lopes forked it, getting it to work with recent Ubuntu versions, while also adding various improvements:

  • support sending multiple files from the indicator;
  • new feature to find your phone;
  • new icons;
  • open KDE Connect settings from the indicator device status menu item;
  • added extensions for Nautilus, Caja and Nemo, which allow sending files from the file manager context menu;
  • bug fixes.

If you’re not familiar with KDE Connect, here are some of its features:

  • display Android 4.3+ notifications on your desktop (I recommend Recent Notifications so you don’t miss important notifications);
  • send and receive files (by default, the files are saved in ~/Downloads on the desktop and in the kdeconnect folder on the Android device);
  • share clipboard between your Android device and desktop;
  • allows using the Android device as a remote for Linux media players;
  • use your phone screen as your computer’s touchpad;
  • uses TLS sockets encryption.

Here are a few screenshots of the KDE Connect Android app:

KDE Connect 1.0.x includes some new features, like triggering custom commands (you set this up on the desktop using the KDE Connect configuration, then launch them from the mobile device), displaying desktop notifications on the Android device (this plugin is disabled by default and you’ll have to enable it on both the desktop and Android device to use it), and replying to SMS messages from the desktop. The SMS reply feature is not yet supported by KDE Connect Indicator.
The KDE Connect Indicator fork PPA only has packages for Ubuntu 16.04 (including KDEConnect 1.0, required by indicator). However, I’ve installed the packages in Ubuntu 16.10 and they installed successfully and everything worked, except browsing the device – but this didn’t work in my Ubuntu 16.04 test either.
Sending and receiving files, displaying notifications on the desktop, shared clipboard, using the Android device to control media players or as the computer’s touchpad, and so on, all worked in my test.
I should also mention that the indicator may disappear when the phone is in sleep mode, but it shows up again when you receive a notification or use your Android device.

Install KDE Connect Indicator fork in Ubuntu

Important: Before installing KDE Connect Indicator, it’s important to mention that it depends on kdeconnect, a KDE package which will install quite a few KDE dependencies. If later on you want to remove KDE Connect and KDE Connect Indicator, you may want to save the list of packages which are installed by running the “apt install” command below, and manually remove those packages after you remove KDE Connect (“apt-get autoremove” won’t work).

To be able to use KDE Connect Indicator, you’ll need to install the KDE Connect application on your Android device.

Ubuntu 16.04: Steeven’s KDE Connect Indicator fork is available in a PPA for Ubuntu 16.04. To add the PPA and install the indicator, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:varlesh-l/indicator-kdeconnect
sudo apt update
sudo apt install indicator-kdeconnect kdeconnect

Ubuntu 16.10: There are currently no Ubuntu 16.10 packages in the PPA, but you can add the PPA in Ubuntu 16.10 and change it to use the Ubuntu 16.04 packages. To do this and install KDE Connect Indicator in Ubuntu 16.10, use the commands below:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:varlesh-l/indicator-kdeconnect
sudo sed -i 's/yakkety/xenial/g' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/varlesh-l-ubuntu-indicator-kdeconnect-yakkety.list
sudo apt update
sudo apt install indicator-kdeconnect kdeconnect

Arch Linux users can install KDE Connect Indicator (git) via AUR (it uses the new fork).
Once installed, launch KDE Connect Indicator from the menu / dash. For pairing it with your Android device, see below.
Note: if you had an older version of KDEConnect installed before installing the version from the PPA, you may need to restart your system before KDE Connect Indicator works properly.
For source code, bug reports, see the KDE Connect Indicator fork GitHub page.

Pairing your Android device with KDE Connect Indicator

There are two ways you can pair KDE Connect Indicator with your Android device:
a) click “Request pairing” from the KDE Connect Indicator on your desktop, then accept the request from your phone;
b) select the desktop device from the KDE Connect application on your Android device, click “Request pairing, then on the desktop click “Request pairing” from the KDE Connect Indicator menu.
Thanks to Alex for the tip!

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How To Install KDE Connect Indicator on Ubuntu

launch the indicatorKDE Connect is an awesome way to get Android notifications on your Linux desktop, send files to and from your phone, and a whole lot more. But you might not fancy switching to a Plasma desktop to use it. Well, you don’t need to. Indicator-kdeconnect is, as the name might have already told you, an indicator applet […]

This post, How To Install KDE Connect Indicator on Ubuntu, was written by Joey Sneddon and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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