This is the first post in our series Android App Review!
You might say that Android apps shouldn’t be on a site called HackMac.org and that we should only feature iDevice apps. However, once you read this post, you’ll realize that Android applications can be just as invaluable to Mac Hackers as iDevice apps!
What Does It Do?
ConnectBot is an SSH client. Using it, you can connect via SSH to a computer and remotely control it! For the purposes of this article, I’m going to assume that you’ve read our Basic SSH Tutorial. I’ll be using terminology from that article, as well as the central concepts and methods of SSH.
Basically, though, ConnectBot can do anything via SSH that you can do from a computer via SSH. Once you connect, you can execute commands exactly the same way, and they’ll have the same effect.
How to Use It
Once you download ConnectBot from the market (you can also use the QR code below), you’re ready to get started!
Open it up and select SSH from the dropdown menu. Then type in the same thing in the text box that you’d type on your computer:
shortname@hostname. This will make the screen look just like a terminal window and it will display a few messages. Then it will prompt you for a password. Unlike when you SSH via terminal, you can see what you’re typing this time! It’s just like whenever you type passwords on your Android phone. This was a huge relief for me, because I know I’m much more likely to have a typo on my phone than on my computer!
So type the password and hit enter, and you should be in! Then you can use commands just like we showed you how to in the Basics of SSH article. If you want to execute AppleScript, you can follow our guide on How to Execute AppleScript from the Command Line, because ConnectBot, once connected, acts exactly like a command line.
Need the control button so you can enter special characters or cut-and-paste? Just tap the screen and clickable control and escape buttons will appear!
The App Itself
I love this app and I have no complaints with it! It runs smoothly and does exactly what it’s supposed to do. It’s great being able to get into a computer via SSH while you’re wandering around. Instead of people seeing the terminal on a computer screen and (correctly) assuming that you’re hacking, they’ll just think you’re texting a friend! I highly recommend this app to everyone who wants to practice their SSH skills on the fly.