The KDE team has released version 3 of the Plasma Active environment for tablets and other mobile devices. The latest release offers improved performance, a new file manager, eBook reader, better text input, and other new features.

KDE Plasma Active 3

Plasma Active is an open source user environment optimized for touchscreen devices. It’s designed around the idea of “activities,” which is a way of organizing different things that you might do with a mobile device.

For instance, you can group your apps, files, settings, and other information depending on your activity. If you use the same tablet for schoolwork, for gaming, and for scheduling a family vacation, you might want to access different items, and Plasma Active lets you do that.

Honestly, I’ve never been entirely sold on the idea of Activities. It sounds to me like a platform designed by people who think like programmers for people who think like programmers. But I suppose you could think of Activities like a souped-up version of Android’s multiple home screens. If you’re the sort of person that likes to put all your music and video apps on one home screen, and all your gaming apps on another, Activities takes that sort of organization to another level.

Anyway, Plasma Active 3 includes a new Files app which lets you find your pictures, books, documents, media, or other files without actually viewing the underlying file system. Instead you can let the app know what type of data you’re looking for and view a grid. You can also search for files by tags, metadata, or other information.

The new Okular Active eBook reader supports PDF, Epub, Open Document, and other file formats.

Plasma Active 3 also includes a new Add Ons system that lets you download and install everything from apps and widgets to eBooks and wallpapers.

KDE Plasma Active 3 uses Mer Linux as its core operating system. Mer is the open source continuation of MeeGo — a mobile operating system designed for phones, tablets and other mobile devices. Backers Intel and Nokia have largely abandoned MeeGo, but Mer aims to pick up where MeeGo left off.

via Aaron Seigo

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4 replies on “KDE Plasma Active 3 open source tablet software improves performance, adds new apps”

  1. So, on what can I install this? I mean which tablets, preferrably 7″ or smaller, run Linux? It seems that every article I see about small Linux tablet starts out with a jolly paragraph of optimism, then a demoralizing footnote mentions that the graphics will suck for now because some shoestring Shenzhen vendor doesn’t want to release specs because his next-door neighbor will use them to undercut him by epsilon, which turns out to be his profit margin. Does anyone have a small tablet to recommend without reservation?

  2. I like the idea of grouping things by activity. But then again I suppose I’d qualify as a person “who think[s] like programmers.”

    What I really don’t get about this UI is the virtual keyboard: why is it so tiny? Why aren’t virtual keyboards large and translucent?

  3. Is this another operating system?……to boot into? or just an app to run with another system? What devices or should I say what OS can it run in?

    1. This is a touch-based graphical user interface for any kind of computer running Linux (not Android Linux but standard Linux distros).

      So it is only the graphical interface on top of Linux, not a standalone operating system.

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