It’s been quite a while since I wrote my gvfs MTP backend work, but that doesn’t mean nothing has happened in the meantime. Since then, I’ve improved the functionality quite a bit, including submitting patches to libmtp to support grabbing thumbnails and detecting “Add Storage” events (which you want to do so that when someone unlocks their phone, the phone storage automatically appears). I’ve also started the review process for submitting upstream (See GNOME Bug 666195), so hopefully we’ll see it upstream in the next couple of months.
More practically, and the main reason for writing this post, I’ve finally got around to setting up a ppa to host builds of gvfs with my patches applied. Learning how to set up a ppa was interesting, and pretty painless – so the end result is working packages for Ubuntu 12.10. Note that due to 12.10 only including libmtp 1.1.4, neither of the features I mentioned above is enabled in these builds (so you’ll have to refresh your nautilus window after unlocking). Perhaps I’ll throw a build of 1.1.5 in there too at some point.
You can find the ppa here. Enjoy!