KDE Connect has been around for years as a companion Android app for connecting to Linux PCs, similar to Microsoft Link to Windows (formerly “Your Phone”). Now there’s finally a KDE Connect app for iPhone and iPad.
KDE Connect has quietly appeared on the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad, seemingly without an official announcement (at least so far). Just like the Android version, it connects to a Linux PC running the KDE Connect application to a phone or tablet. You can then synchronize your clipboard across desktop and mobile, share files and links, and run commands on a PC from a phone. You can also use an iPhone as a virtual touchpad or presentation remote for a linked PC.
There are a few limitations in the iOS app compared to KDE Connect for Android. There’s no support for mirroring notifications, and Apple generally doesn’t allow background services on iOS and iPadOS, so features like clipboard sync might be buggy. Still, a partially-functional app is better than no app at all.
KDE Connect has been a popular option for connecting mobile devices to Linux PCs for years, especially since it’s completely free and open-source. Most other connecting services only worked through the use of browser extensions, such as Pushbullet, or had other limitations when paired with Linux desktops.
The KDE Connect desktop application is available in the software repositories for most Linux distributions, and GSConnect is an alternative for systems using the Gnome desktop environment. The new iPhone and iPad app joins the mobile apps for Plasma Mobile, SailfishOS, and Android. Apple says you’ll need iOS/iPadOS 14.0 or later to use KDE Connect, and the download size is only 5.1MB.