The KDE desktop environment may have started out as a Windows-like user interface for Linux-based operating systems. But over the past few years part of the KDE team has been working on the Plasma Active user interface which is designed to run on a range of devices including tablets, phones, televisions, and more.
This week Plasma Active 4 was released, offering performance and stability tweaks, speed improvements, a new media center app, and a better web browser, among other things.
Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web.
- KDE Plasma Active 4 now available for tablets, other touch-based computers
KDE’s touch-friendly Plasma Active user interface for smartphones, tablets, and other devices is growing up fast. [KDE]
- Amazon may offer its upcoming smartphone for free to Prime subscribers
There’s a rumor going around that Amazon plans to branch out from Kindle Fire tablets into Kindle smartphones — and now there’s talk suggesting that the company could try to offer the phone for free. Now, free doesn’t always mean completely free of charge. You might have to sign up for an Amazon Prime membership, for instance. But the reason the company offers tablets and eReaders at or near the price it costs to build them is because Amazon views them as gateways to get you to buy more content from Amazon. A phone could theoretically pay for itself in app and media purchases… or something [Amir Efrati and Jessica E. Lessin] Update: Or maybe not. Amazon says no phone this year, and if there were a phone (which there isn’t… yet), it wouldn’t be free. [Amir Efrati]
- Showtime app for Android allows YouTube videos to float on top of other apps
YouTube recently updated its Android app to let you view videos in a small window while you continue to browser for other videos using the same app. Here’s a tool that lets you keep watching even while you’re using other apps. [xda-developers]
- AT&T expands AiO pre-paid wireless network nationwide
AT&T’s pre-paid wireless service AiO is now available across the US with plans starting as low as $40 per month for folks who dont’ need a lot of data and who are willing to pay full price for a phone up front. [Droid Life]
- Kubuntu, Lubuntu, etc hit version 13.10 Beta 1 (Ubuntu’s main branch is doing dailies rather than beta releases)
The next major version of Ubuntu Linux is due out in October. While Ubuntu proper doesn’t do beta releases anymore, you can grab the latest beta of Ubuntu derivatives such Lubuntu and Ubuntu Studio to get a sneak peek at version 13.10. [Phoronix]
- Microsoft unlikely to use Nokia or Lumia names on any upcoming phones
Microsoft may have spent $7 billion to acquire Nokia’s devices and services business, but the company apparently has no plans to keep using the Nokia or Lumia names on its upcoming devices. [Haverzine]
- BBC iPlayer for Android now supports video downloads (for viewing within 30 days)
Now Brits can not only stream recent BBC shows over the internet to an Android device, they can also download shows for watching within 30 days. [Android Police]