KDE Plasma 6 for Mobile Devices Is Shaping Up Nicely with Support for Applets

The Plasma Mobile 6 release will also introduce a new Docked Mode, a new Welcome app, and improved performance.
KDE Plasma Mobile 6

With the upcoming release of KDE Plasma 6 for the Linux desktop, the Plasma Mobile devs are working hard to bring the mobile version of Plasma to the latest KDE Frameworks 6 and Qt 6 frameworks and on par with the Plasma 6 desktop environment.

Plasma Mobile developer Devin Lin outlines in a blog post details about the work he has done in the past few months to make Plasma 6 a reality for mobile devices and to get it ready for the KDE “Mega Release” (includes KDE Plasma 6, KDE Frameworks 6, and KDE Gear 24.04) scheduled for late February 2024.

According to Devin Lin, Plasma Mobile 6 promises a revamped default homescreen that will feature an app drawer, KRunner search, folders, pages, applets/widgets, drag and drop between various elements, row-column flipping for screen rotations, customizable row and column counts, customizable page transitions, as well as the ability to import and export homescreen layouts as files.

“Applets in particular are pretty exciting, though still need some work. They use the same infrastructure that the Desktop uses, so we can use existing applets,” said Devin Lin. “New applets for mobile apps can eventually also be developed, pending interest.”

Plasma Mobile 6 also promises a new “Docked Mode” quick setting that brings back window decorations and prevents the opening of application windows in full-screen mode when your mobile device is docked.

There will also be a new Plasma Mobile Welcome app to make configuring the mobile desktop environment easier for newcomers. The new Welcome screen for Plasma Mobile 6 will let you set up Wi-Fi, cellular settings, etc.

Plasma Mobile 6 will also come with a new plasma-mobile-envmanager service for automatic configuration of what’s needed for Plasma Mobile and Plasma Desktop, removing the need for hardcoded configurations and allowing the installation of a separate desktop environment on existing systems.

Among other noteworthy changes, Plasma Mobile’s task switcher was moved to the KWin window and composite manager as an effect, which will improve the performance, there are some style improvements for better performance, various mobile-specific settings modules have been unified, the lockscreen was improved, as well as the quality of the cellular settings and the ModemManager shell integration.

Plasma Mobile 6 should be released to the public shortly after the release of the KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment series on February 28th, 2024. However, to use it on your mobile device, you will need to wait for one of the mobile-focused GNU/Linux distributions to adopt it, such as postmarketOS.

Those of you who are eager to try the current version of Plasma Mobile 6 can follow the installation instructions provided by the Alpine Linux-based postmarketOS project here. Of course, a future postmarketOS release will offer ready-to-use images that can be easily installed on your mobile device, if it’s supported by postmarketOS.

Image credits: Devin Lin (collage created by Marius Nestor)

Last updated 2 months ago

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