How to Connect a Raspberry Pi to a Mobile Phone

When you need to connect to your Raspberry Pi, you don’t necessarily have to rely on a computer; you can also achieve this using a mobile phone. The principle is the same for both – connecting to the Raspberry Pi via SSH to enable remote access and control. Whether you’re using Android or iOS, there are mobile applications available for SSH that make connecting to your Raspberry Pi even easier. Once the connection is established successfully, you can access and operate your Pi just like you would on a computer.

Table of Contents

Enable mDNS Service

In traditional networks, the mapping between domain names and IP addresses is resolved through DNS services. The specific process is as follows:

  1. A device requests access to a domain name, such as “www.123.com.”
  2. The device sends a request to a DNS server to resolve the domain name.
  3. The server looks up the corresponding IP address for the domain name “www.123.com.”
  4. The found IP address is returned to the device.
  5. The device uses the returned IP address to access the target server.

However, in certain scenarios where there is no central server, domain name resolution can become a significant challenge. A viable solution is to enable mDNS (Multicast DNS) services. This is a network protocol that allows device access through hostnames without the need for a dedicated DNS server, making it particularly useful in local networks.

When connecting a Raspberry Pi to a mobile device, you typically need to know the Raspberry Pi’s IP address to establish an SSH connection. However, if you enable mDNS services, you can use the Raspberry Pi’s hostname instead of its IP address for access. This simplifies the connection process, as you don’t have to memorize the IP address.

Enabling mDNS services on the Raspberry Pi often involves installing and configuring Avahi. Once set up, you can connect to the Raspberry Pi like this:

				
					ssh pi@raspberrypi.local
				
			

Raspberry Pi Connection to iOS

Step 1: Download SSH Tools

The iOS operating system on Apple devices supports Bonjour technology. This means that when you connect to a Raspberry Pi, you can access it directly using the Raspberry Pi’s hostname, without the need to manually input or remember the Raspberry Pi’s IP address.

To establish this connection, begin by downloading an SSH tool from the App Store, such as iTerminal. Once installed, open iTerminal and select the SSH option in the interface. From there, you can configure the connection to the Raspberry Pi or other remote devices.

Download iTerminal and select SSH

Step 2: Enter SSH Information

In the settings interface, customize the server name, host, port, username, and password information. Then, click the ‘Connect’ button to initiate SSH login and take control of the Raspberry Pi.

Enter SSH login information

Step 3: Connect and Exit

After a successful connection, you can use the following command to view the SSH directory:

				
					pi@raspberrypi:~ $ ls -l
				
			
Raspberry Pi successfully connected to Apple phone

After verifying that everything is in order, you can use the following command to exit:

				
					pi@raspberrypi:~ $ exit
				
			

Raspberry Pi Connection to Android

The steps to connect a Raspberry Pi to Android and iOS devices are generally similar. The main difference lies in how you obtain the Raspberry Pi’s IP address and select an SSH tool. On a computer, you can use SSH to connect or log in to the Raspberry Pi’s terminal and retrieve its IP address using the following command:

				
					ifconfig
				
			

Locate the IP address associated with the network interface you are currently connected to, typically starting with “inet”.

Check the IP address of Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi successfully connected to Android phone

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