KDE Plasma 5.22 has just come out of the oven and … yes, it is a most appetizing update, as has become customary with each release of the desktop environment that has occurred in recent years, both due to the new features and improvements that it incorporates, which is not exactly the same.
Thus, although the novelties as such are those that take the bulk of the attention in the official announcement of KDE Plasma 5.22, the developers do not forget to start the note by ensuring that the desktop is “more reliable and stable than ever” , in reference to the stability and performance improvements received by this new version.
In fact, taking a quick look at the complete list of changes , it is verified that of the two thousand something that the KDE Plasma 5.22 code draws from, the vast majority are small corrections of all the components that make it up. With that said, let’s see what’s new in this version.
KDE Plasma 5.22, news
The first thing that catches your eye about KDE Plasma 5.22 is the look and the new wallpaper, which follows the aesthetics of the previous series and clears up a bit to welcome summer. Personally I like it less than the previous one, possibly the best they have created to date, but it is a mere detail that takes a second to change.
Another visual detail that we already noticed is the « adaptive transparency» , very common in other environments or also in Plasma for those who use Latte Dock: the panel and the widgets desktop are translucent by default, as long as it is not maximized a window, at which point they will become opaque. This is supposed to reduce distractions and make everything more beautiful.
KDE Plasma 5.22 design enhancements continue with “greater smoothness and consistency in transparencies, blurs, icons, and animations,” say the developers; as well as in the panel, it should be added: specifically in the system tray, which launches a digital clock, calendar included, redesigned in favor of functionality and good taste.
Continuing with the system tray, the widgets improve their consistency and there are some that gain functionality, as is the case with the sound volume , which now allows the different profiles of the audio devices to be selected directly from there, without the need to enter the audio settings. For its part, the clipboard manager (Klipper) already has its own keyboard shortcut: «Meta + V».
Another improvement of the panel touches the task manager, whose previews of the open applications over which the cursor is hovered will now appear in the main work area, facilitating its complete view without having to switch from one desktop to another, or from a sale to another.
More improvements related to Wayland include the use of Activities , one of Plasma’s most powerful features, even though it is not the most popular due to its focus on the more experienced user; support for screens with variable refresh rates (FreeSync), so that it is now possible to configure different monitors with different refresh rates; the automatic blocking of notifications in situations in which they can disturb, such as when sharing or recording the screen, when viewing something in full screen, etc; and many other small but essential capabilities so that the experience is as good and even better than in the old X11.
Now, is KDE Plasma 5.22 ready for Wayland as we all hope? This will have to be checked.
Finally, a function that has been implemented equally in Wayland and X11 that will improve the experience in configurations with more than one monitor: from now on, the new windows that will open on the same screen where the cursor is . Bravo!
What’s new in KDE Plasma 5.22? There are and they are important, although we have already anticipated some of them. For example, the replacement of the veteran KSysGuard by the new System Monitor , whose possibilities are impressive, but which does not convince me because it is slower and still not as polished as it should be. Note: default replacement; KSysGuard does not appear to be disappearing from the repositories at the moment.
Nor can we forget the versatile launcher KRunner , another component that is reinforced with KDE Plasma 5.22, since it can now display several lines of text, instead of just one. This change, along with that of the previous version, which allows it to be anchored so that it does not disappear, or even another of the previous version, which added the option to position it in the middle of the screen, augurs an interesting future for KRunner.
And as a culmination, something about which we also did not extend and that happily, like the rest of the news that we have collected, it is important to underline, can be deactivated. I mean offline updates or, as the KDE Plasma 5.22 official announcement has more aptly translated it, delayed updates . Well, an option has been added in the System Preferences (look for “Software Update”) to disable it without complications .
It is not all, but it is the best thing that KDE Plasma 5.22 leaves us. Yes we miss the typical presentation video (they have published one that is a real madness, you can see it in the official note).