Get ready for a Usability & Productivity avalanche! There’s so much to announce this week that I’m breaking it up into two posts! I’m super excited to announce that in addition to the normal stream of little quality-of-life improvements, a major and long-simmering change has landed: we’ve overhauled the lock and login screens to provide better usability and aesthetics, and more features!
The lock screen now displays the default Plasma wallpaper and behaves more like a screensaver: only the clock and date are displayed at first. Here’s how it looks with the new Plasma 5.13 wallpaper:
And after moving the mouse, typing on the keyboard, or tapping the touchscreen, the image is darkened and blurred, and the controls become visible:
Doesn’t this look really, really good!?
People who prefer less flashiness can set the background to a solid color, and the controls will not fade in and out–just like before. Those who want more bling can set a slideshow or an animated effect for the background, and it will be just like the attractive screensavers of yore!
Even cooler, if you don’t change the default settings, then every time you upgrade Plasma, the lock and login screens will automatically use the new wallpaper for that Plasma version.
We’ve also resolved a usability issue with the old version: light-colored or very busy backgrounds no longer obscure the text and user interface elements for either the login or lock screens because the background is blurred and darkened whenever they’re shown, and at other times the clock and date have a subtle drop shadow applied:
I pushed pretty hard for this redesign and did a bit of the work, but the overwhelming majority of it was done by Marco Martin, who deserves our praise and congratulations!
Users will be able to enjoy these incredibly beautiful and classy lock and login screens in KDE Plasma 5.13, which is slated for release in June.
I’ll note that this is a big change that’s just landed so we may tweak it a bit before the Plasma 5.13 release. The plasma wallpaper itself may be adjusted, and we might also decide to use a slightly different image by default. But for the most part, this is what Plasma 5.13 users are gonna see, and we think you’ll love it!
But wait, there’s more… see it in part 2!