After the recent release of KDE Plasma 5.25, this version landed a few days ago in Arch-based distros like EndeavourOS (the one I’m writing from).
Although I’m mostly a GNOME user, I also have a few distributions installed where I’m using KDE Plasma.
The new features that impressed me most are related to eye candies 🙂
First, the “Present Windows” effect now looks the same as the new “Overview” effect. If we compare the “Present Windows” effect in the previous version (5.24):
with the new one:
we can see a significant improvement: in the earlier versions, the windows not selected were too dark, making it hard to distinguish them. This behavior relates to an old bug (10 years old): https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=303438. This bug has been fixed by rewriting this effect “to use the same modern, maintainable backend technology found in the Overview effect.”
I use this effect a lot (I also configured the “Super” key to use this effect, simulating what happens in Gnome for its “Activities” view), and I use the filter to filter the open windows quickly. So I appreciate this usability change a lot!
One detail I do not like in this new version of “Present Windows” is that the filter textbox remembers the entered text. Thus, the next time you use it, the presented windows are already filtered according to the previously entered text. I’m not sure I like this.
The other cool thing introduced is the automatic accent color! Accent colors were introduced a few versions ago in Plasma, but now you can have Plasma automatically adjust the accent color from the current wallpaper:
If you use a wallpaper changer mechanism (like the one provided by Plasma), possibly by downloading new wallpapers (like Variety), you will get nice accent colors during the day. Here are a few examples produced running Variety to change the wallpaper:
Maybe it’s not an important feature, but, as we say in Italy, “Anche l’occhio vuole la sua parte” 😉
The last new feature that positively impressed me is that now KRunner also shows Java files (and probably other programming languages related files) when you search a string. Previously, although “Baloo” (the file indexing and file search framework for KDE) knew about these files, KRunner was only showing .txt files and a few others, but not Java files.
Concerning Wayland, one thing I noted is that if I start a Plasma Wayland session using a brand new user, it automatically scales the display in case of an HDPI screen. Wayland usability in Plasma has not improved since my last experiments (see KDE Plasma and Wayland: usability).