KDEPIM on Mobile – What’s going on?

Anyone following the commits in the kde svn repo will notice that there has been some action on the mobile front in KDE PIM over the last few months.

We reported from our annual meeting in Osnabrück that we would be working to get a PIM stack based on KDE and Akonadi onto Maemo and WinCE devices with the benefits and features that Kontact and the rest of KDEPIM brings desktop users today in stable versions of KDE PIM.

The target is a suite of Free Software PIM applications enabling strong encryption and privacy features along with separation of data to different contexts, for example work and home email and contacts. The solution must be flexible to multiple access and transfer protocols, and to multiple types of data as well as being realistically fast. The framework for the PIM platform is of course provided by Akonadi.

This project is the result of a collaboration of KDAB, (my employer) with Intevation, crypto specialists G10Code, and interaction specialists Apliki known to KDE for recent usability testing work on KMail icons.

Recently a milestone of readonly functionality prototypes was reached for all target applications, so I can start to show them off. It is important to keep in mind that visual completeness was not a target up to now, so all applications will likely change visually as we work towards finished software.

[OGG link]

In this video I use and kmail-mobile, kaddressbook-mobile, korganizer-mobile to access data on a remote Kolab server, the same that my desktop connects to. Much of the UI layer is implemented in QML, and the gestures support allows the use of swipe actions to for example expand slider panels on the side, flick through lists and go to next and previous items. The screenshots below are from my workstation which has different proportions to the phone, but shows the functionality more clearly if you can’t hold it in your hand.

KMail-mobile provides a navigation tree on the left and a list of emails on the right.

When a collection is selected, its child collections are show below it. The "current" email shows some more information

Selecting an email makes it readable in fullscreen mode.

All of the applications feature a start page to select an account or configure favorites

KAddressbook-mobile uses a similar account navigation method to KMail-mobile

The expanded view shows the same information as the current KAddressBook

KOrganizer-mobile features an agenda view as the central component

The event detail view is shared with KOrganizer

The start page of KOrganizer-mobile also allows chosing a date-range to browse

The KDE PIM platform provides a large versatile base for pim applications of different form factors

Much of the code implementing the mobile application functionality is shared with the desktop versions of the applications. We estimated before that it should be possible to share up to 80% of the code between them. Of course, should does not mean *will*, but sometimes it can. 🙂

14 Responses to “KDEPIM on Mobile – What’s going on?”

  1. Ryan Rix Says:

    This is looking incredible! Can’t wait to see this in a state where anyone can pick it up and use it!

  2. Peter Grasch Says:

    Looks great!

    Will this ever be supported on symbian/S60 (N97 user here)?

    Qt runs fine so porting shouldn’t be that hard but of course I don’t know what libs / non portable functions you are using…


  3. steveire Says:

    @peter: There are no plans to put this stack on S60 at the moment.

    The Qt parts should indeed be portable, but there are other parts of the stack such as encryption infrastructure which is not written in Qt and would need to be ported.

    Aside from that, the UI would have to be redesigned and rewritten again for even smaller form factors.

    I’m also not sure if N97 would be powerful enough and provide enough processor and memory to run the applications. We haven’t done that investigation.

  4. Leavejs Says:

    I heard the new os meego will be based on Qt, are there plans to make this work on meego devices?

  5. steveire Says:

    This would at least potentially work on MeeGo. It’s similar enough to Maemo that the platform would not be the problem. The main thing is that the ui needs to be adapted per device because different devices have different size, orientation and dpi.

  6. Peter Grasch Says:

    Too bad that it won’t be available for S60.

    This would be a lot better than the built-in client and even Nokia Messaging (which is a paid service on my provider).


  7. Navigating a QAbstractItemModel tree in a QML view « Steveire’s Blog Says:

    […] Steveire’s Blog Just another WordPress.com weblog « KDEPIM on Mobile – What’s going on? […]

  8. Akonadi Meeting and the KDE SC 4.5 release « Thomas McGuire's Blog Says:

    […] library and more. That allows us to re-use those components in other applications, such as the mobile version of Kontact, and makes it possible to unit-test the components, which was not possible before, as everything […]

  9. Bruno Gama Says:

    So, I installed the repos and when I try to install the kde pim on my N900 phone, they show I have no libqt4-maemo5-* version correct. How can I update to < 4.6.99?

    • bricks Says:

      You shouldn’t need any of the deprecated libqt4-maemo5 packages to install kdepim-mobile. All our packages require libqt4-experimental-* for QML. For further support please use kde-mobile and/or kde-mobile-users maillinglists. If you send a mail to that lists please add a detailed error description and which sections (unstable, experimental, snapshots) do you use.

  10. adicahya Says:

    Hi, great work..
    Anyway, i think the GUI design is still feels “desktop”. I don’t know, maybe you designed it that way.
    But, from what i see in current mobile GUI design, they started to move away from “desktop” like GUI and optimized for touch operation.

    The new design direction for mobile GUI seems more simple and has bigger graphics element.

    just my humble opinion anyway..

  11. adicahya Says:

    hmm..i quest what i mean “desktop” is some elemet of the GUI is still using or look and feel like standar KDE desktop (small icon,three pane panel,etc).
    Well,i don’t have n900 to test the usability of your design, i just see the screen space usage can be improved.
    I’m not an expert on this,but i see many modern mobile apps seems to represent single major information displayed at one time while keeping other element accesible via contex menu (long press for example) or square botton row or collum in either side of the screen.
    May i send you some GUI mockup?
    Anyway,thankx for your response and work,i really wanna see many KDE apps on future Meego devices.

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