KDE Connect on Windows - Sneak a peak

    KDE Connect on Windows - Sneak a peak

    Updated: September 23, 2019

    If you're in possession of an Android phone, then you might be interested in
    KDE Connect. This is an application developed by KDE
    folks, which lets you pair your smartphone with your Plasma desktop, and then do all sorts of magic to
    and fro. You can control media, check SMS messages, view system information, share files, and more.

    reviewed this software and found it quite
    useful, although support for other mobile systems would be nice. Now, as you can imagine, its very name
    implies that it is tied into the KDE (Plasma) desktop environment. Well, not anymore! You can use it
    Gnome vis
    GSConnect, but that's still Linux. Well, well, well! There's also an
    experimental build for Windows. And that's why we're here. Let's test this software in Windows.



    If you want to install KDE Connect in Windows, you have two options. You can wait for the Google
    Summer of Code 2019 to complete (kind of has but the work never ends), with the explicit aim of
    porting KDE
    to Windows and macOS, or you can rush ahead and try the experimental nightly build,
    straight out of the oven. Indeed, you can find the
    in the KDE Factory. Grab the executable and install it. Once you complete the installation wizard, KDE
    Connect will show up as an icon in your system tray.


    System tray icon

    Pair your phone

    From the system tray, right-click > Configure. This will open the familiar KDE Connect interface.
    In the nightly build, the buttons aren't aligned that nicely - they need some healthy padding and such
    - but this is expected from alpha-beta quality software that isn't still ready for everyday use.

    On the phone, launch the KDE Connect app. The desktop wizard should now show the phone, and you can
    request pairing. Once this is done, the functionality will (mostly) be there.

    Before pairing


    Does it work? Well?

    Yes and no. The list of available plugins is quite long, but they don't all work in the experimental
    build, plus things can radically change between one nightly and the other. During my testing, I did
    encounter some glitches. For example, the SMS applet wouldn't fully load and show the messages.

    Right-click, system area options

    SMS viewing didn't work

    On the other hand, file sharing worked smoothly, both ways. On the other
    other hand, I was able to control the volume via the media applet but
    not actually see which media player was running or what song was being played. Once or twice, KDE
    Connect didn't close properly - the GUI vanished but the background process remained, which I had to
    kill manually. I am fully aware that some of the functionality is not there - and that the improvements
    are on the way. This is but the state of the nightly build.

    Plugin tweaks


    KDE Connect is still not quite primetime ready for Windows. There are both visual and functional
    glitches, but then it works better than I expected, because I didn't expect anything, and the nightly
    builds are a nice hidden little gem. I am happy that this software is making progress, even if it
    supposedly takes away some of the unique, killer features that Linux has, and gives them freely over.
    Then again, the lack of Linux desktop dominance wasn't because of the lack or excess of killer
    features, so this is a good thing overall.

    I am eagerly waiting to see the final product, and what kind of experience the Windows folks will
    have. After all, this may give them a further incentive to try Plasma, and the fact this desktop
    environment is making progress both in the mobile space and on the Windows desktop is quite
    commendable. For the time being, KDE Connect is still kind of rough beta quality, but all in all, it's
    a cool thing. Stay tuned.