Browsing Android Files using Bluetooth

One of the casual uses of Bluetooth under Android, is just to pair devices with our Android (host) device, so that specific apps can use the paired (slave) device. This includes BT-headphones, and many other devices.

But then a slightly more advanced use for BT under Android could be, that we actually send files to a paired Android device. It’s casually possible to take two Android tablets, or a tablet and a phone, and to pair those with each other. After that, the way to ‘push’ a file to the paired device, from the originating device, is to open whichever app displays files – such as for example, the Gallery app, if users still have that installed, or a suitable file-manager app – and to tap on ‘Share’, and then select ‘Bluetooth’ as what to share the file to. Doing this should open a list of paired devices, one of which should be suitable to receive a pushed file in this way.

But then, some people would like to take Bluetooth file-sharing up another level. We can pair our Android device – such as our phone – with a Bluetooth-equipped, Linux computer, which may be a bit tricky in itself, because the GUI we usually use for that assumes some legacy form of pairing. But eventually, we can set up a pairing as described. What I need to do is select the option in my Linux-BT-pairing GUI, which requires me to enter the pass-code into the Linux-GUI, which my Android device next displays…

And then, a question which many users find asking themselves is, ‘Why can’t I obtain FTP-like browsing capability, from my Linux-computer, over the files on the phone? Am I not giving the correct commands, from my Linux-computer?’

Chances are high, that any user who wishes to do this, is already giving the correct commands from his or her Linux-computer…

(Updated 06/03/2018, 20h45 … )

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Pixel C Keyboard Works Now.

When I first received my Google Pixel C tablet, with its assigned custom Bluetooth Keyboard, my first priority was to make sure the tablet worked, not the keyboard. After that, I found that the keyboard did not seem to want to pair.

I have learned a lesson from this incident, which I feel I should share with the community. By now, the keyboard is also working fine. It is easy to jump to false conclusions, about why something is not working.

The keyboard comes with the type of instruction card, which I just love to hate, with no technical accuracy, and very loose language. The instruction card states, that in order to charge the keyboard, we should have it facing up in front of us normally, that we should flip the tablet over vertically, and that we should then align the light-bar, that is normally at the top of the back of the tablet, with the space-bar, while putting the tablet face-down on the keyboard and allowing it to charge. “Cool.”

What a person like me will do, is literally align the light-bar – now at the bottom of the back of the tablet – with the space-bar on the Keyboard, which left a part of the keyboard protruding. That part of the KB which was protruding, actually contains the coils that the keyboard needs, to receive a charge.

The fact that this was an error did not become obvious immediately, because the magnets in the KB nevertheless allow it to snap into place, out of position in this way.

But my failure to pair this KB with the tablet then stemmed from the fact that it had never received a drop of charge. And the fact that the keyboard itself has no charge-indicator, again did not alert me to the error. I suppose that anybody who is used to this device, would know better. I am a first-time customer.

What the instruction-card should say, is that we should flip the tablet over, with the light-bar on its back facing towards us, but on the side of the keyboard that has the space-bar. And yet, we should align the tablet with the keyboard exactly, flush. It can then receive its charge.

I left it charging for about 4 hours while connected to the A/C, before trying it, and it worked just fine. Yet, the keyboard also has the ability to charge – presumably with reduced current – when the tablet is not connected from to the A/C. When it is doing that, the light-bar on the tablet briefly pulsates in green, instead of pulsating in the 4 colors it pulsates in, when the A/C is connected.

Cool.

pixel_c_kb_1

And, it was the fact that part of the keyboard was protruding, which also prevented me from just carrying the two components under my arm, while they were magnetically attached. When they are completely flush, they are also fully ready to be carried in this way. And this way, the keyboard fulfills three functions perfectly:

  1. It protects the tablet sufficiently – better than a leather case would.
  2. It provides a keyboard when the user is on-the-go, which the user can therefore take with him with no encumbrance.
  3. It props up the tablet.

But there is a way in which the pairing procedure itself could get confusing:

Continue reading Pixel C Keyboard Works Now.