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Would it be possible to use my phone as a touchpad?

asked 2014-02-28 12:30:12 +0200

vattuvarg gravatar image

updated 2015-10-08 13:08:06 +0200

I am hoping to minimize my workspace equipment. One idea is to use my phone as a touchpad. My phone is always on my desk while i work, connected by USB cable, so my brain didn't have to jump far to come up with the idea.

Would it be hard to create an app that lets me use my Jolla as a touchpad? ...with two finger zoom and scroll bars?

  • The app should be possible to switch off with a gesture to regain phone functionality.

  • The app could show online presence and notifications (xmpp, twitter, facebook, etc).

  • This app forms one of the building blocks for the jollaDesk concept.

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Nice idea!

torcida ( 2014-02-28 12:35:32 +0200 )edit

+1, excellent idea! I don't use trackpad often but this is definitely handy when I need it

c.la ( 2014-02-28 15:04:41 +0200 )edit


ray-ven ( 2014-02-28 17:34:16 +0200 )edit

@ray-ven wow, this app is great, thanks... actually I think this is at least part of the answer, still there's the problem of Jolla going to sleep and battery draining while it is not, as mentioned by @bart

tokaru ( 2014-02-28 20:09:39 +0200 )edit

7 Answers

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answered 2014-02-28 13:42:34 +0200

The N900 has an app which allows it to be a bluetooth mouse/keyboard/gamepad. I'm pretty sure this would be doable on the jolla as well. Since Jolla's screen is multitouch, finger scroll (or five-finger-whatever) shoudn't be problem at all.

The app would have to be active to capture the touch events and send them via bluetooth, which would prevent the phone from entering sleep mode and drain the battery rather fast. Also, the bluetooth connection itself might use some power (or maybe with the 4.0 LE version this would be negligible). For these reasons you would want to keep the phone plugged in, but as you say, it's something you already do.

TL;DR: You just have to wait for someone to port (and improve/extend) the N900 app to Sailfish :)

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If the app would work with both usb and bluetooth then it would be great. I might not need to use it without the usb cable but others probably will.

vattuvarg ( 2014-02-28 19:36:31 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-03-01 11:44:23 +0200

flacer gravatar image

updated 2014-03-01 11:50:46 +0200

As ray-ven said, qremotecontrol is a very suitable app. It works via network (over "usb network" not tested) with a server installed on your PC. I use it for presentations and it really works well. It has a touchpad (with scroll function but without two finger zoom), a keyboard, media control buttons and is able to run user defined actions. The server aplication is available for win, OsX and linux, the client app can also be installed via warehouse. Look here: http://qremote.org/

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Personally I prefer to avoid networking my mouse. Connecting with usb would be enough for me, to be honest. But qremote looks like a nifty system.

vattuvarg ( 2014-03-01 12:19:26 +0200 )edit

@vattuvarg: developer mode is USB network so it would work fine over USB for you.

Philippe De Swert ( 2014-06-02 13:01:48 +0200 )edit

answered 2018-02-26 12:47:26 +0200

Bysmyyr gravatar image

KDE connect android app works fine. Through wlan though

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Tried and it's working fine. But, it would be nice to have a native Sailfish app.

TNZ ( 2018-06-06 15:40:47 +0200 )edit

And you're in luck ;) https://openrepos.net/content/r1tschy/sailfish-connect

Not everything is implemented yet, but you can use it as a touchpad and keyboard.

Tanghus ( 2019-11-23 17:54:40 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-06-02 12:05:54 +0200

I started writing an app for that. The plan was to use bluetooth and HID standard, so there is no additional server/driver needed on the pc. The problem is that currently you can't access bluetooth because jolla is waiting for Qt to integrate a newer version of the bluetooth stack (bluez) to then use this.

But even when bluetooth is accessible, I'm not sure if I'm capable to succeed ;)

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Would you be able to succeed if the app is to be used only when using the usb cable?

vattuvarg ( 2014-06-02 12:29:45 +0200 )edit

I don't think so because jolla USB doesn't seem to support that mode. Even with bluetooth, it depends on jolla if they allow these things. I just wanted to mention that I probably gonna make something, but don't count on it ;)

scharelc ( 2014-06-02 12:49:22 +0200 )edit

@scharelec: what mode on USB are you talking about?
@vattuvarg: If you can make a systemd service file for it, usb_moded can start it when connected in a specific mode (and shut it down again) Just needs a simple .ini file in /etc/usb-moded/run. Documentation for that is here: https://github.com/nemomobile/usb-moded/blob/master/docs/usb_moded-doc.txt And you can find examples in the config dir in the git tree

Philippe De Swert ( 2014-06-02 13:03:45 +0200 )edit

well I have almost no knowledge about usb, I can't even say if it is possible or not, so when I will do something at all i will first focus on bluetooth. But therefore jolla needs to enable it in Qt and I need to pass may university exams first ;)

scharelc ( 2014-06-02 13:51:27 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-12-14 20:11:24 +0200

vattuvarg gravatar image

Nintendo are rumoured to be working on a game controller with a touchscreen.

Could something similar be done with a phone too?

Imagine this...
Two owners of sailfishOS phones meet. They pair their phones with bluetooth. One phone becomes the controller and the other one the screen. ...or two controllers may share the same game.

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And they lived happily ever after. :)

lakutalo ( 2015-12-14 21:42:08 +0200 )edit

answered 2018-02-26 11:15:46 +0200

vattuvarg gravatar image

The latest version of Samsung Dex uses the phone as a touchpad now.


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answered 2018-06-06 13:41:23 +0200

vattuvarg gravatar image

ASUS has presented a laptop with a touchscreen where the touchpad would be.


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Asked: 2014-02-28 12:30:12 +0200

Seen: 2,092 times

Last updated: Jun 06 '18