This week, KDE Community has released the first beta of the next LTS version of its graphical environment. As we read in the weekly note On what's new they are working on, “Plasma 5.18 is the release we've been waiting for,” and it is because it will include many improvements. But if something caught my attention this Sunday, it's that Nate Graham has already started talking to us about Plasma 5.19.0, the new version that will be launched already in summer.
This week, Graham has advanced us 4 new features, 3 for v5.18 and one for v5.19 of the KDE graphical environment. Additionally, they've also listed many fixes, with more to be included in the next two weeks before Plasma v5.18 hits Discover in stable form. Below you have the complete list of news that has been mentioned to us this week.
Table of Contents
News coming to Plasma 5.18 and 5.19
- Screen auto-rotate now works in Wayland on computers with accelerometers (Plasma 5.18.0).
- The visual settings of GTK applications no longer need to be separated manually; instead they are automatically synced from your settings to the KDE applications, except for the theme itself, which can still be set separately because there is no 1: 1 mapping between the KDE and GTK themes (Plasma 5.18.0 ).
- Thumbnail Grid Task Launcher is now shipped as part of the package kdeplasma-addons (Plasma 5.18.0).
- The System Preferences Background Services page has been rewritten for better appearance and usability (Plasma 5.19.0).
Bug fixes and performance and interface improvements
- JPEG thumbnails are now subtly sharper and better looking (Dolphin 20.04.0).
- System Preferences no longer hangs when clicking the "Global Themes" item on the main page (Plasma 5.18.0).
- KInfoCenter no longer crashes when navigating between the Power Information page and other pages (Plasma 5.18.0).
- The calculator applet no longer shows strange results for certain multiplication operations (Plasma 5.18.0).
- Checkboxes drawn on top of images and selectable list items are now always visible (Plasma 5.18.0).
- It is now possible to set an image as wallpaper by dragging it directly from a web browser to the desktop (Plasma 5.18.0).
- Discover should now be more reliable at locating apps no matter what their AppStream ID is; for example, Blender can be accessed from blender.desktop and also org.kde.blender (Plasma 5.18.0).
- Fixed some visual issues in animations for Widget Explorer (Plasma 5.19.0).
- You can reconfigure the default email client to be a terminal program and make everything work properly when you click links mailto: (Frameworks 5.67).
- The systray settings window has received visual enhancements that make everything better understood (Plasma 5.18.0).
- When we click on a notification, it now brings that app forward if the app doesn't define a custom click behavior (Plasma 5.18.0).
- Throughout Plasma and System Preferences, the "Get New [Thing]" dialog has a sleek new look and is much more useful (Plasma 5.18.0).
- Now there are keyboard shortcuts set by default to switch from one virtual desktop to another: Ctrl + Meta + arrow keys (Plasma 5.18.0).
- Scroll bars in the Breeze style for desktop applications are now wider and separated from the content view by a subtle separator line (Plasma 5.18.0).
- Now it is much simpler and obvious how to create a WiFi access point (Plasma 5.18.0).
- Discover's comment sheet is now the proper width and wide enough to display comments comfortably (Plasma 5.18.0).
- A notification is now displayed when a Bluetooth device is paired successfully (Plasma 5.18.0).
- Bluetooth devices that report their battery level now display that level in the Bluetooth applet pop-up, as well as the battery and brightness pop-up (Plasma 5.18.0).
- Plasma wallpaper slideshow feature now includes default wallpaper path automatically so you don't have to go find it and add it on our own (Plasma 5.18.0).
Release dates for all these news
Plasma 5.18 is coming 11 February and there will be 5 maintenance releases arriving on February 18 and 25, March 10 and 31, and May 5. Plasma 5.19 will arrive on June 9. KDE Frameworks 5.67 will arrive on February 8 and the release date for KDE Applications 20.04 remains to be confirmed. If it is known that they will arrive in the middle of April and they will not arrive at Kubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa.
We remember that in order to enjoy all these news as soon as they are available we have to install the KDE Backports repository or use an operating system with special repositories like KDE neon.