I regularly use my Nexus 7 or my Android smartphone (was Galaxy S2, now Nexus 5) to help me with my Raspberry Pi activities. Here is a ‘top ten’ roundup of my favourite Android apps that I use with Pi.
Picture the scene…
You’ve just switched on your Raspberry Pi but you forgot to connect the HDMI lead, so you have no display. You don’t want to pull the plug, but you can’t ssh into it without the ip address. How to find it? Or…
You got your headless Raspberry Pi up and running, but you forgot what ip address it’s on. Or…
You rebooted your internet router and it’s changed the ip address of the Pi. What do you do?
You install Fing on your phone and use it to scan your whole network and tell you the ip and mac addresses of every connected device.
Very useful indeed. There’s no looking back once you’ve got Fing installed. It’s a superb app. You can assign names to each device and choose an appropriate icon to make identification easier. They recently added a Raspberry Pi icon too…
ConnectBot is a lovely little app that lets you log into your devices by ssh
I use it to log into my Pis from my tablet or phone…
- over wifi when I’m at a Raspberry Jam meeting,
- over the internet when I’m away from home
…and I even sometimes log into one of my web servers when I’m out and about.
It’s quite powerful because you can use your public/private keys with it, which makes it much more secure for you to expose your devices to the internet.
Bluetooth Terminal Emulator (paid)
This is the only paid-for (£1.90) app in this roundup. There is a very good free alternative, called Blueterm, but it lacks the “killer feature” for which I bought Bluetooth Terminal Emulator.
If you have no internet connection or network, but you still want to be able to get a wireless console login, the answer is to use a Bluetooth serial adaptor and log into the Pi, with your mobile device, through the serial port (using the UART Tx & Rx on pins 8/10, GPIO 14/15). This is what I use on my RasPiCamcorders…
So, what’s the killer feature? It’s the only Bluetooth console app I’ve found (from about 3 or 4 I tried) that can actually handle the use of
, which is quite important if you want to be able to stop a program with CTRL+C. So, in my opinion, that was well worth paying a couple of pounds for.
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