KDE’s Plasma Mobile UI Scores a Major Update for Linux Phones

Plasma Mobile UI

The KDE Project announced today a major update to the Plasma Mobile UI for Linux phones with a bunch of new applications and various other enhancements.

Competing with UBports’ Ubuntu Touch mobile OS and postmarketOS’ GNOME-based Phosh UI developed by Purism for their Librem 5 Linux phone, KDE’s Plasma Mobile is a very viable alternative for Linux phone owners.

About six months ago, Plasma Mobile developer Marco Martin shared a video at FOSDEM 2020 to showcase the awesome experience offered by Plasma Mobile on PINE64’s PinePhone Linux phone.

With this new update, the Plasma Mobile experience is about to reach a whole new level. First, there are several new apps available, including KClock, KWeather, Kalk and Kontrast.

KClock is a clock app that lets you set multiple timers, use as a stopwatch with lap functionality, set alarms with customizable ringtones and repeat behavior, as well as to display multiple clocks from different cities and timezones.

KWeather is a weather app that has many capabilities, including the ability to add cities by name or use the current location, support for Norwegian Meterological Institute and OpenWeatherMap backends, two different views, day-based view and hour-based view, as well as detailed weather cards.

Both KClock and KWeather come with a plasmoid that you can add on your phone’s home screen for easy access to basic features at a glance.

Another new app in Plasma Mobile is Kontrast, which lets web developers and designers to experiment with different colors and their contrast ratio when building accessible user interfaces.

While still in alpha stages of development, Kalk is a calculator app that offers currency and unit conversion functionality, a math expression parser for basic and advanced math operations, and the ability to show calculation history.

Among the updated apps, the Voice recorder app now features a new audio visualization and a revamped Settings page, the Calindori calendar app, Alligator feed reader app and KDE Connect app received many usability improvements, and the Plasma Samegame now features high-resolution textures.

Also, the Settings page now comes with a cellular network module that shows information about the SIM card, modem, and mobile carrier. Mobile-friendly file dialogs were implemented as well in this update.

Apart from the new and updated apps, Plasma Mobile received a number of improvements for the Plasma Shell, which now activates apps running in the background when the user taps on their icon on the home screen, and adapts the color of the app’s splash screen and panels according to the app’s icon.

Lastly, the task switcher also received several usability improvements and it now displays thumbnails for running apps, the lock screen and search field have a new look, and there’s basic support for newer Android hardware.

These awesome enhancements are available right now for PinePhone Linux phones if you download the latest Plasma Mobile image from the official website.

Last updated 4 years ago

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