KDE Connect: File sharing/Notification mirroring from iOS/Android

KDE Connect Pairing Screen
KDE Connect Pairing Screen

Most individuals with a smartphone will also have a computer with them. Smartphones have been portable, but have not been useful for any serious work or multi-tasking. Computers (usually laptops) have not been that portable to carry them everywhere. The screen size, keyboard and mouse play an important role in making it convenient for work. Their size and capacity make them heavy and less convenient to carry around. So we use smart phones for calls, social media and quick touchups while preferring computers for robust applications and multitasking on a larger screen. Connectivity between these devices has always been a complicated endeavour. Every notification, messages and update from your contacts/apps requires checking the phone multiple times, breaking your workflow and inturn reducing productivity.

Communication between Devices

Apple and Microsoft have attempted to bridge the disconnect between smartphones and computers. They offer applications that can mirror notifications, reply to messages, and provide some interactivity between the devices, but they are proprietary.

KDE Connect is an open source alternative for these bridge applications. The KDE community, which develops the KDE desktop environment, develops KDE connect for multiple platforms. It allows users to send/receive files, notifications, monitor and control applications on your computer from your phone. There are many other features that would enhance your productivity. Checkout these list of plugins for KDE Connect.


KDE Connect Pairing Screen
KDE Connect Pairing Screen

KDEConnect permits you to have more control over your devices as they communicate with each other. Monitor the battery level on your phone, sync clipboard between your devices or control media on your computer from your phone. It makes many things a lot easier.

Its main features include:

  1. Battery Monitor
  2. Clipboard
  3. Inhibit Screensaver
  4. Multimedia Control Receiver
  5. Pause Media During Calls
  6. Ping
  7. Receive Notifications
  8. Remote File System Browser
  9. Ring My Phone
  10. Run Commands
  11. Send Notifications
  12. Share and Receive
  13. Telephone Integration
  14. Virtual Input
  15. Presentation control

KDE Connect is available for most platforms. They just released an app for the iOS platform. Browser extensions are also available for controlling media on your browser. With the release of the iOS app, you can now get notifications and updates from your iPhone and iPads. However, text messaging isn’t possible because of limitation imposed on apps by Apple. KDE Connect App also works with GSConnect from Gnome.

KDE Connect iOS App Interface
KDE Connect iOS App Interface

Pairing devices on KDE Connect

Install KDE Connect on devices you wish to pair. When you’re on a same network, the devices should show on the application. Then you can start pairing the devices. You can pair a computer with a phone or two computers. After a successful pairing, you can use the features mentioned above. If you want to connect devices over the internet, you can set up an OpenVPN connection to use KDE Connect.


KDE Connect works to connect devices on a local network. It won’t work over the Internet unless you create a p2p connection between the two devices with a VPN or other methods. Text messaging may not be reliable on Android and will not work on iOS devices because of permission limitations by Apple.

On Android, the app needs to be excluded from battery optimizations to prevent it from being shut down by the operating system.


KDE Connect achieves a lot as a community project. As it is available on all major platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS), it makes it easy to configure multiple devices with a single interface. It respects user privacy and doesn’t collect any data. So it’s a must if you need your devices to communicate and control. If you use KDE Connect or other similar applications, let us know your experiences in the comments.