The KDE project team today released a beta version of the KDE Plasma 5.16 desktop environment, inviting community members to understand and participate in the many changes brought about by the new version. KDE Plasma 5.16 is a major release update that optimizes background performance to improve many of the core components while introducing new features that make KDE Plasma more stable, and the experience is better and more fun.
- Completely rewritten notification system supporting Do Not Disturb mode, more intelligent history with grouping, critical notifications in fullscreen apps, improved notifications for file transfer jobs, a much more usable System Settings page to configure everything, and more!
- Plasma themes are now correctly applied to panels when selecting a new theme.
- More options for Plasma themes: offset of analog clock hands and toggling blur behind.
- All widget configuration settings have been modernized and now feature an improved UI. The Color Picker widget also improved, now allowing dragging colors from the plasmoid to text editors, palette of photo editors, etc.
- The look and feel of lock, login and logout screen have been improved with new icons, labels, hover behavior, login button layout and more.
- When an app is recording audio, a microphone icon will now appear in the System Tray which allows for changing and muting the volume using mouse middle click and wheel. The Show Desktop icon is now also present in the panel by default.
- The Wallpaper Slideshow settings window now displays the images in the selected folders, and allows selecting and deselecting them.
- The Task Manager features better organized context menus and can now be configured to move a window from a different virtual desktop to the current one on middle click.
- The default Breeze window and menu shadow color are back to being pure black, which improves visibility of many things especially when using a dark color scheme.
- The “Show Alternatives…” button is now visible in panel edit mode, use it to quickly change widgets to similar alternatives.
- Plasma Vaults can now be locked and unlocked directly from Dolphin.
The final version of the KDE Plasma 5.16 desktop environment will be available on June 11, 2019. As with all previous versions, it will adopt the new default wallpaper, but this time the KDE project team will be able to participate in submitting their artwork by holding a wallpaper contest and then voting to make a selection. Winners can get a Slimbook One v2 computer built into KDE.