Legacy issues overboard: KDE Connect tackles fundamental updates

There will be many fundamental changes to KDE Connect this year: Version 2.0 and the new functions along the way, developer Albert Vaca wants to tackle 2023 thanks to the new funding from the NLnet Foundation. In particular, he wants to improve the three areas of stability, security and accessibility.

One of the most pressing problem children for many users is the first point. KDE Connect connects different end devices with each other, but relies exclusively on the local network and no cloud services. So far, UDP broadcasts have been used so that clients can see each other. In the future, the software should instead use Multicast DNS (mDNS), which should be more reliable and should be blocked less frequently in the network. All applications – they exist for Linux, Windows, macOS, Android and iOS – should receive a corresponding update by autumn 2023.

Since the latest release 1.22 for Android, KDE Connect requires at least version 5 Lollipop. The reason: The developers wanted to offer compatibility with older operating systems for as long as possible – but before Android 5, they only offered TLSv1 and an otherwise very limited range of security tools. Now KDE Connect requires at least Lollipop, allowing it to jettison the older and insecure security standards. The project also wants to check all dependencies in order to import the patches that have arisen. KDE Connect will also receive a security audit from Radically Open Security later this year.

Last but not least, the developers want to check the accessibility of the applications and then receive a suitable audit from the University of Arnhem and Nijmegen (HAN). Before that, the desktop applications should switch to Qt6, the Android app is already based on Material 3.

In his blog post, Albert Vaca emphasizes that users will receive all these updates gradually and not just with version 2.0. KDE Connect 1.0 completed the project in 2016, with constant updates since then.

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