KDE has today released the Plasma 5.24 desktop, filled with goodies across the whole thing and this is an LTS release (long-term support) that will continue seeing updates until a final Plasma 5 release after which Plasma 6 succeeds it. The environment that will be powering the desktop mode on the Steam Deck, it's a very exciting time to be a KDE user and no doubt the developers are excited too.
The team said that this release "focuses on smoothing out wrinkles, evolving the design, and improving the overall feel and usability of the environment".
It's quite an important release actually, especially with all the upgrades to Discover (the software installer / updater). Discover is smarter and clearer about error messages, smarter about not letting you break your system by removing essential packages (or Discover managing to remove itself). Lots to be happy about there for users of all skill levels.
On top of that Discover also gives you an option to reboot once updates are done, there's a few UI adjustments to the Update Page to make it less overwhelming and you can now also open and install locally downloaded Flatpak packages too.
A huge addition is the newer Overview mode, which is much similar to how GNOME Overview works. This allows you to get a view of different workspaces, interact with all the various windows and applications you have open in the background and the ability to search your system too. See the short video demo KDE put out:
This Overview isn't quite finished, they say it's technically a Beta right now.
Absolutely loads more new, especially when it comes to Wayland that will eventually replace the ancient X11 system. Wayland + Plasma now supports colours greater than 8bits, better support for VR headsets and drawing tablets, the Spectacle screenshot tool can now access the Active Window mode and there's more keyboard shortcuts across the desktop that now work with Wayland too.
Other random improvements include a faster shut down, a new wallpaper, important notifications now get an orange strip to bring more attention to them and the list of tweaks goes on.