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I have an upcoming presentation I want to make in LibreOffice Impress on my Ubuntu 12.10 laptop. I was wondering if I could get ahold of an Android app which would act like a remote control, allowing me to switch between slides from my phone over WiFi without having to stay near the laptop (I've been told I need to move around more during my presentations).

A quick look on the Google Play store seemed to turn up a handful of PowerPoint remote apps for Windows or maybe Mac. I also took a look at Can an Android phone control Ubuntu like a remote?, but that seems more for controlling an Ubuntu media center. Is there anything which will work with LibreOffice Impress on Ubuntu?

My phone is a Samsung Galaxy Precedent on Straight Talk, running Android 2.2.2 (latest available version from the carrier). It's not rooted, and there's not much memory on it either, so the smaller and simpler the app the better. Also, it has to be free because I currently don't have a means to pay for an app I may/may not like.

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    And this is my new quest. I will search the internets far and wide. – jrg Nov 28 '12 at 0:01
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    How in hell could this be off-topic?. Are people voting to close just after reading the title?. – Javier Rivera Nov 28 '12 at 9:15
  • @JavierRivera Thanks for the edit. I left off the "under Ubuntu" part of the title because we try not to overuse it in question titles, but maybe this question needed it. :/ – Christopher Kyle Horton Nov 28 '12 at 17:32
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As an update to the accepted answer, the LibreOffice Impress Remote app has been officialy released by the Document Foundation, and you can find it on Google Play. Requires a LibO 4.0.1, Bluetooth, and Android 2.3.3+.

  • Would be nice to have a wifi-only solution too, since the LibreOffice app seems to want Bluetooth – Hamman Samuel May 26 '15 at 16:11
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    @HammanSamuel the app now supports wifi too – Koustuv Sinha Mar 31 '16 at 9:36
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You can try PPT ODP Remote Premium (2.50 €). Its description says that the server application works on Linux, too. It doesn't mention LibreOffice, only OpenOffice, but I hope they are compatible enough. But I didn't test it.

If you don't mind ads and a bit of ugliness, Ubuntu Remote Control works. It only needs an SSH server on the PC (and public key authentication is possible), and xdotool to send key strokes. You can edit the shortcut buttons by long pressing them. Have a look at the predefined "Open Audio Player" command:

export DISPLAY=:0; xdotool key XF86AudioMedia

To send a Next (Page Down) key, use

export DISPLAY=:0; xdotool key Next

You can assign the keys in Impress so that they match - or send the correct keys with xdotool in the first place. To find the correct key names, you can use xev in a terminal.

There is also Remote Launcher Free, which needs a server program on the PC. You could use it to send keystrokes with xdotool, too.

And there are SSHmote and Coversal.

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The upcoming version of LibreOffice will have integration with the official Impress remote. You'd need a daily build and the debug apk:

  • This looks like what I want, but I can't get LibreOffice to launch after installing the dev build. Any ideas? – Christopher Kyle Horton Dec 5 '12 at 10:32
  • I actually just ran across this iloveubuntu article saying LibreOffice 4.0 will be in Ubuntu 13.04, but a pre-release PPA for Quantal is available. I will see if that works out better and come back here with my results. – Christopher Kyle Horton Dec 5 '12 at 19:52
  • Actually, couldn't get that to work either. In addition, a friend who's more knowledgeable about Android than I am established that my Android version is too out-of-date for the official Impress Remote (which he determined requires Android 4.0 or later). But I feel this is the closest thing to an "official" answer until they are given a stable release, so I will accept it on that basis. – Christopher Kyle Horton Dec 6 '12 at 6:46
  • If you want to install Libreoffice 4.0, this might help: askubuntu.com/q/252612/83046. I installed it today and it's working fine. – green Feb 8 '13 at 11:22
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LibreOffice has such a remote app, Impress Remote, but the app version i got working was 2.2.3. Newer versions do not work well.

I tested using galaxy-j3, Libreoffice 6.0.3.2 on ubuntu 18.04. it worked best over wifi. I couldn't get it to work over bluetooth

first download the version 2.2.3 of Impress Remote from the internet from a trusted website and install on your android.

Now Connect both android and PC to same network. Make sure both can access each other. In my case i created an AP on the ubuntu and allowed the android through the firewall.

ON PC
start libreoffice impress. Go to tools > options > Libreoffice impress > general
tick Enable remote control, untick Enable presenter console

again go to tools > options > libreoffice > advanced
tick Enable experimental features

save and restart libreoffice

now open the file you are going to present in libreoffice impress.

ON ANDROID
open the Impress Remote app and select the wifi tab. hit the '+' and add the PC ip address and save.

you can now select the added host. it should display a 4 digit pin.

now go back to the Impress on the pc and from menu select Slide Show > Impress remote

your device should be detected (eg galaxy-j3)

enter the pin displayed on android and hit enter

slideshow show start automatically

during slideshow: presentation slides appear on phone volume up/down can be used to go forward/backward laser option on phone can appear on pc can jump to a slide (appears as thumbnails)

Tips: failing to uncheck Enable presenter console would likely lead to a cannot connect error on the android

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