KDE Plasma 5.22 brings big changes like the new Plasma System Monitor app introduced in the KDE Plasma 5.21 release as a replacement for KSysguard as the default system monitoring app, a new adaptive panel transparency feature to help you make both the panel and the panel widgets more transparent, support for activities on Wayland, as well as support for searching through menu items from the Global Menu applet on Wayland.
Task Manager’s “Highlight Windows” feature has been improved as well to only highlight windows when hovering over their thumbnail in the tooltip by default, it’s now possible to change the text size in sticky note widgets, accessibility and keyboard navigability has been greatly improved in System Settings, as well as overall Wayland support.
In System Settings, the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.22 release lets you disable offline updates on GNU/Linux distributions that enables them by default, such as KDE neon, or to help you enable offline updates on distros that doesn’t offer this feature.
Improvements are all over in KDE Plasma 5.22, making the System Tray applets more consistent in appearance and usability, there’s a revamped Digital Clock applet popup for usability and accessibility, and you can now force the Digital Clock applet to display the date on the same line as the time on tall panels.
Furthermore, it’s now possible to select the device profile for your audio devices directly from the Audio Volume system tray applet, as well as to open the clipboard history at any time by pressing the Meta+V keyboard shortcut. KRunner has also been improved to show multi-line text for search results and to no longer return duplicate results from different runners.
Last but not least, the KDE Plasma 5.22 desktop environment promises many performance improvements to the KWin window and composite manager on Wayland by enabling support for direct scan-out for full-screen windows on non-NVIDIA GPUs, support for variable refresh rates, support for hot-plugging GPUs, support for setting overscan values, support for vertical and horizontal maximization, and better support for multi-screen setups.
If you want to give KDE Plasma 5.22 a try, you can download and install the Beta version right now from the software repositories of various rolling-release distributions, such as KDE neon Unstable Edition or Arch Linux. However, please try to keep in mind that this is still a pre-release version, so don’t use in for any production work The final release will hit the streets on June 8th, 2021.