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KDE’s First Apps Update in 2021 Brings NeoChat, Better Integration of Remote Files

KDE's Apps Update 2021


The KDE Project announced today the general availability of KDE Applications 20.12.1 as the first point release in the KDE Applications 20.12 series and KDE’s first Apps update in 2021.

The KDE Applications 20.12 open-source software suite launched last month, and it probably already arrived in the stable software repositories of many popular GNU/Linux distributions, brining numerous new features and improvements for fans of KDE’s Plasma desktop environment and applications.

Now, we see the release of the first maintenance update, KDE Applications 20.12.1, which brings a plethora of changes to make your KDE Apps experience better. The biggest change in this point release is the introduction of the first stable version of the brand-new chat client called NeoChat, which uses the Matrix protocol.

If you follow my regular reports on the KDE software, you would know that NeoChat was first previewed with the latest KDE Plasma Mobile update last month. That means NeoChat is supported on both mobile (including Android) and desktop platforms, which is really great news for those who own a PinePhone Linux phone with KDE Plasma Mobile.

As I said before, NeoChat features a built-in image editor, support for sending and accepting invitations, the ability to remember the last room you’ve joined, support for showing your last read message, as well as read markers. Of course, more awesome features will be added in future updates.

NeoChat

Another interesting change in KDE’s first Apps update in 2021 is the introduction of a new ad-on called KIO Fuse, which is here to make the integration of remote files with your KDE Plasma desktop environment much better than before, especially when using third-party apps like LibreOffice, as it treats remote files as if they’re local.

“KDE used to make local copies of remote files that were then copied back and forth between the servers and the desktop. This proved to be unreliable and could lead to the data loss,” explain the KDE developers.

Among other improvements, the Okular document viewer was updated to more reliably recognize Markdown files, better handle faulty PDF files without crashing, and support special characters like “Å” in search.

Moreover, the Dolphin file manager once again supports scrolling with non-touchpad devices that have both vertical and horizontal scrolling capabilities, no longer tries to execute executable JS (JavaScript) files, and no longer crashes when opening a new tab when there’s text in the search field and when trying to drag a disk drive in the Places panel.

Last but not least, the Elisa music player now correctly remembers the “Force Filesystem Indexing” in the configuration window, lets you press the Play or Enqueue buttons on grid items when using the Files view, and no longer consumes high CPU usage while playing music.

The Gwenview image viewer has been updated as well to properly save and restore JPEG files and the Spectacle screenshot utility no longer becomes slow and laggy when taking multiple screenshots in quick succession.

For more details you can study the full changelog. Meanwhile, you should keep an eye on the stable software repositories of your favorite GNU/Linux distribution for the KDE Applications 20.12.1 packages and update as soon as possible to enjoy a better Plasma and Apps experience.

Image credits: KDE Project

Last updated 2 weeks ago

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