There are several different user interfaces available for Linux smartphones, but the one that will probably feel the most familiar to Android users is KDE’s Plasma Mobile.

Like Android, it has a home screen, an app drawer, navigation buttons on the bottom, status notifications at the top, and a quick settings panel that appears when you swipe down from the top of the screen.

Soon, it may work even more like Android – developers plan to add support for multiple home screens that you can scroll through horizontally, giving you more space for app icons and widgets. Support for custom app launchers may also be on the way.

Those are just some of the updates the Plasma Mobile team highlights in a blog post looking at news from January and February, 2021.

Developer Marco Martin, who is responsible laying the groundwork for horizontal home page scrolling and custom home page launchers, says they won’t be ready until Plasma 5.22 is released, but other recent updates that are already available include:

  • The app drawer now always shows every application that’s been installed.
  • Apps are always arranged alphabetically.
  • The app drawer now opens completely rather than getting stuck in between open and closed states.
  • You can drag multiple copies of the same app to the home screen.
  • It’s possible to remove app icons from the home screen or favorites.

Other recent updates to Plasma Mobile include:

  • The Plasma phone dialer now supports sending DTMF tones and USSD requests.
  • There’s a theme selector for the virtual keyboard settings.
  • A mobile layout is in the works for the Elisa music player application.
  • The Angelfish web browser can now open all HTTP and HTTPS URLs and not just those for websites. It also now lets you open downloaded files in external apps.
  • Calindori now supports directly opening calendar files and links, importing task and event data, and managing attendees.
  • Neochat 1.1 is an update to this Matrix chat client and, among other things, it brings a new first launch experience, support for stickers, and the ability to see when messages have been edited as well as support for opening a room in a new window.

You can find more recent updates to Plasma Mobile and its supported apps at the Plasma Mobile blog.

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