KDE Connect is a very useful application for connecting Android devices to the Linux desktop. Among other things, data is exchanged easily, notifications from the smartphone are displayed on the desktop, SMS is answered from there and media players are controlled.
How good KDE Connect is, is shown by the ports to GS Connect for the GNOME shell and now also for macOS and Windows, which were created in the context of the Google Summer of Code 2019 (GSoC). KDE Connect has already been used more than badly under Windows.
That’s what GSoC student Piyush Aggarwal wanted to improve with his project. He wanted to create a clean port, make all plug-ins available and at the end write an installer that will be included in the Windows Store.
The GSoC 2019 is over, but the installer is not yet approved for the Windows Store. Nevertheless, you can already test KDE Connect on Windows. The still experimental executable file can be found as a Nightly Build in the KDE Factory.
After the downloaded EXE file is installed, the application launches and appeases Windows Defender by sending the firewall the O.K. for the app is given. Thereafter, the app icon can be found in the system section of the control bar.
Now it’s time to connect an Android device to the Windows desktop. I was initially offered the connection to my Linux workstation. On the Android device, KDE Connect should show the Windows device under Available Devices.
A click on it asks for pairing, which then has to be confirmed under Windows. Then the Android device should be displayed in the Windows app and be usable.
Different experience possible
The builds are recreated daily and are still experimental. They can also differ in functionality from day to day. However, they already allow a good overview of what KDE Connect will soon be doing under Windows, provided the app has some refinement.So far so good…
In my tests, I could easily move files between devices and control media players. Even a played media file stopped when a call came in and was continued afterwards. Not bad for a first test. Windows users will soon receive a first free software for connecting to Android devices.