KDE 5.16 is now available, a great update for the desktop environment that includes a good set of new features and improvements that you can expect soon (or relatively soon) on your favorite Linux distro using Plasma.
For the developers of KDE the most important change that is introduced with this version is the new notification system , since they have completely rewritten it. Dolphin now opens the folders in which you click on tabs instead of in a new window, the system settings and widgets have been improved, and they have also strived to improve the design to offer a more intuitive, consistent and fluid.
This new notification system comes for the first time with a “Do Not Disturb” mode that allows you to silence notifications, and thanks to KDE 5.16 has a much smarter notifications history, these will be grouped according to application.
Notifications for file transfer operations have also improved, critical notifications will be shown even when you run full-screen applications, and the system settings page has been optimized so you can configure everything related to your notifications more easily.
Another interesting novelty for both the lovers of the themes and the creators of them, is that now KDE offers more control over the customization of widgets, and also the themes applied now should be displayed correctly in all panels.
On the privacy side, Plasma 5.16 now shows a warning in the system tray that informs you if an app is recording audio, and you can mute the microphone by clicking on the mouse wheel.
Aesthetically, the changes have also been extended to the login screen, which has new icons, labels, new button organization. And, they have even improved the wallpapers settings to show all the backgrounds to choose when you select a presentation.
And, finally, another important novelty is that with KDE 5.16 has been added initial support for Wayland with proprietary Nvidia drivers. In addition to this, Wayland now offers drag and drop between native XWayland and Wayland windows.
If you want to experience the newest of Plasma, your best option is to use the KDE Neon distro. You can also choose Kubuntu 19.04 which uses 5.15.5, but you have Plama 5.16 available in the repositories. For more information about the distros with support and how to obtain KDE 5.16 you can visit the community website.