Gnome Shell Android Integration Extension GSConnect V12 Released

GSConnect v12 was released yesterday with changes like more resilient sshfs connections (which should make browsing your Android device from the desktop more reliable), fixed extension icon alignment, along with other improvements.

GSConnect is a Gnome Shell extension that integrates your Android device(s) with the desktop. The tool makes use of the KDE Connect protocol but without using any KDE dependencies, keeping your desktop clean of unwanted packages.

GSConnect

Using GSConnect you can mirror notifications from your Android phone to your Desktop and vice-versa, synchronize the clipboard, browse files from your Android device using your desktop file manager, send files to an Android device from the Nautilus (Files) context menu, send commands to Android devices, and much more. The Android and desktop devices need to be on the same network (with network isolation disabled if using a combination of wired and wireless connections).

GSConnect v12 is the last release of this branch. The GSConnect developers are working on a rewrite that depends on Gnome 3.26 / GSJ 1.50+, and this will be used for future versions of the extension.

Changes in GSConnect v12 include:

  • Allow sharing tel: URIs (Android opens dialer with number populated)
  • More resilient sshfs connections (browse files on Android device from desktop feature)
  • Respect Gnome notification settings (when disabling notifications for an application in Gnome Control Center, the notifications will no longer be sent to the mobile device by GSConnect)
  • Fixed extension icon alignment (though the alignment is still off when using the system menu, without any padding to the edges, as you can see in the screenshot)
  • Fixed error when trying toggle applications on / off in the device notification settings
  • Fixed Python 3 crash on Gnome login using Fedora 28
  • Fixed GSConnect doesn't support dbus-broker
  • Fixed Nautilus extension warnings
  • Fixed GLib.uuid_string_random is not a function error
  • New and updated translations for Chinese, Estonian, Hungarian, Japanese, Russian, Brazilian Portugues, Czech, French and Polish

When I wrote about GSConnect back in May, I mentioned using this extension to access files on an Android device from my Ubuntu 18.04 desktop didn't work with that (v11) version, and I had to use the latest Git to get this feature to work. Well, with GSConnect v12, this issue is gone on my Ubuntu 18.04 desktop.

Install GSConnect


GSConnect version 12 was just released and the update is in the review queue on the Gnome Shell extensions website. Right now you can install version 11 from extensions.gnome.org and wait for it to be updated to v12, or you can install the extension from zip.

Note that no matter how you install GSConnect, you'll also need to manually install some of its dependencies, depending on what features you need. See the GSConnect dependencies section on its wiki.

To install the GSConnect Gnome Shell extension from zip, download the gsconnect.andyholmes.github.io.zip archive for the latest release and place it in your home folder. Next, use the commands below to unzip it and install the Gnome Shell extension in ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions:

mkdir -p ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions
unzip -o gsconnect.andyholmes.github.io.zip -d ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/gsconnect@andyholmes.github.io

If you use Wayland, you'll need to log out and log back in. Xorg users can restart the session by using Alt + F2, entering r, then pressing the Enter key. And enable the extension using Gnome Tweaks (previously Gnome Tweak Tool).

You'll also need to install the KDE Connect application on your Android device, which is available on Google Play and F-Droid.

All you have to do now is pair your Android device with your Gnome desktop (scroll down after clicking that link if you need exact instructions for how to pair them) and enable the features you want to use.

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