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KDE Plasma 5.25 Makes Play for Mobile With Graphical, Touch Enhancements, but Will Users Bite?

The popular Linux desktop has a new coat of paint and new touch gestures, but is it a match for Android?

The KDE Community has announced the release of KDE Plasma 5.25, the latest version of the popular Linux desktop. The release features a number of graphical enhancements plus improved touch controls.

What’s New in KDE Plasma 5.25?

The developers of KDE took to Twitter to announce the release of Plasma 5.25:

The most visible change to Plasma 5.25 is its appearance. The desktop can sync highlight colors to a user’s desktop picture.

Users can also search among their open windows using something called Overview. Users can search for browser tabs, applications, and documents. KDE has produced a short video showing Plasma 5.25 in action:

There are also new touch gestures that work on both laptop trackpads and touchscreens. Users can open Overview with a four-finger pinch, switch among virtual desktops with a three-finger swipe, and see multiple virtual desktops with a four-finger swipe upwards. Mobile device users can configure how KDE responds to edge swipes with any of these options.

When Will Users Get KDE Plasma 5.25?

While KDE offers instructions on building KDE Plasma 5.25 from source code, most users will wait for their Linux distribution to update to the new version. The time it takes to ship Plasma will vary from distribution, but more bleeding-edge distros like Arch will likely offer it sooner.

Will KDE Plasma 5.25 Make It in the Mobile Market?

With KDE Plasma 5.25’s new touch gestures, the Linux desktop seems to be making a play for the mobile market. But there’s already one major Linux-based OS in the marketplace, and that’s Android.

While KDE Plasma is used on the Steam Deck in desktop mode and on the PinePhone, the overtly Linux-based mobile device market seems like a limited niche at the moment. It’s unclear if KDE Plasma 5.25 would change that.

KDE Plasma 5.25 Keeps Up KDE vs. GNOME Rivalry

KDE Plasma 5.25 carries on KDE’s reputation for attractive Linux desktops. It also follows on from the earlier overhaul in 2022 of its chief rival, GNOME. The Linux desktop has remarkable and confusing diversity, and choosing between the two is one of the first choices that prospective Linux users have to make.

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