Some of the best apps from KDE – If you are into it

I recently switched to Manjaro for a few reasons. Can’t say if I will ever switch again. Previously I used Manjaro XFCE, but with my recent install, KDE Plasma is my current desktop. Now, I like a few things KDE does besides providing an amazing desktop. And KDE apps are one of those things. They provide applications and suites that work well with KDE Plasma and also any desktop.

What are KDE applications

These are apps developed by KDE mainly with QT. KDE apps are made to work with other KDE products such as Plasma desktop. While GTK has been the standard, QT is becoming more and more popular. They built the whole Plasma desktop with QT, and it works great. Now, KDE apps have few reasons to exist. It means this provides a full application suite for those who want the latest applications. In KDE Neon, you can see they are pushing updates regularly via their own App Store, Discover. Regular Ubuntu packages rarely get updated on stable Ubuntu based distros.

KDE also provides so many first party apps for Neon, because they want users to stop users from hunting apps all over and having headaches finding them. They got you covered with Office suite, Painting apps, Text editors, Advanced video editors, Media players and ‌development tools. From Discover, you can download from a vast catalog of KDE apps. You get easy management, regular updates, and additional features regularly. In the next section, I will list some of the best KDE applications.

Showfoto – Image editor

This one is my favorite. Before I used GIMP, I used Showfoto to edit images. Although light retouching, fixing and correcting colors and defects. I also used it for adding filters. Showfoto is a standalone image editor. That means, if you use DigiKam, you have Showfoto integrated with it. But if you want to have the editor only, you can install Showfoto standalone application. I recommend this app to everyone, whether you want to do light edits or correcting colors and adding filters.

Personal rating: 5 bananas – Excellent for lightweight image editing.

Okular – PDF viewer

Okular is one of the fine PDF viewers for Linux, Mac and Windows. It is also available on BSD. It features support for PDF, PS, Tiff, CHM, DjVu, Images, DVI, XPS, ODT, Fiction Book, Comic Book, Plucker, EPub, Fax formats. Sidebar with contents, thumbnails, reviews and bookmarks and annotations support.

Personal review: Five hundred lemons – simple and “no nonsense” PDF viewer for every desktop OS.

Krita – Advanced, fully featured painting application

Krita is loved by so many artists, and it became one of the mainstream options for digital artists and creators. It’s undoubtedly the number of choice for those who want a free program in Linux for painting and creating digital arts. It is an advanced pro level tool with all the tools necessary built in. You can sketch, paint, mask, edit and add vector objects to the canvas. There are tons of brush, support for Photoshop brushes, and lots of other features. You can learn more in an article I wrote recently.

Personal rating: Two large jackfruit – advanced and professional grade applications, and famous.

KDE Connect – Connect your smartphone

KDE connect is my favorite KDE app for connectivity. It connects my smartphone to my desktop and allows notification sharing with SMS and push notifications. With KDE Connect, I can send files to my computer wirelessly and from the computer to KDE Connect. Keep your host and client on the same network and request pairing. That’s it, you are ready to go. There are other cool features available, such as Clipboard sharing, Battery monitor, multimedia and slideshow control.

Personal rating: Ten oranges – an essential tool

KDENLive – Best video editor for Linux

This application really showcases how skilled KDEs developers are. KDENLive is one of the most complete and advanced non-linear video editing software. Whether you want to make a simple tutorial or post process a full movie, KDENLive got you covered with tons of editing features and effects. I render my 2D animations (mostly funny GIFs for sharing online) and process them in KDENLive. I really love it and it works ‌great. If you are new to this software, you can find tons of tutorials online.

Personal rating: Eight guavas – Has a learning curve, but it’s a very advanced video editor.

Calligra Suite – Office suite

Calligra Office Suite comprises Word, Sheets, Kexi, Karbon, Stage and Gemini. It contains all the office applications with a simple and easy-to-use interface. The big difference here is Calligra provides a much simpler UI with frame based editing. I ‌like how they handle images. It’s far better than MS Office and Google Docs. The Sheets app is much cooler, and it’s all KDE style. I really wished for a spreadsheet app with QT. Cause it will match with my customization. Karbon is like Inkscape, but very trimmed down and basic. Stage is kind of OK, you can’t expect much from a presentation app. Gemini is for tablet devices. It offers a touch friendly interface with big buttons and nice UI.

There is everything you need, in a bundle and for free. Although I’m not switching to it, I think it’s a worthy office suite.

Personal rating: Five and a half carrots – Worth a try

KDevelop – IDE by KDE

KDevelop is a Free and Open Source integrated development environment (IDE). It provides editing, navigation and debugging features for several programming languages, and integration with multiple build systems and version-control systems, using a plugin-based architecture. KDevelop has parser backend for C, C++ and Javascript/QML, with further external plugins supporting e.g. PHP or Python.

Personal rating: Few dozen blueberries – Leave VSCode and come to KDevelop

KOrganizer – A nice calendar with organizer

KOrganizer is the calendar and scheduling component of Kontact. It provides management of events and tasks, alarm notification, web export, network transparent handling of data, group scheduling, import and export of calendar files and more. It can work together with a wide variety of calendaring services, including NextCloud, Kolab, Google Calendar and others. KOrganizer is fully customizable to your needs and is an integral part of the Kontact suite, which aims to be a complete solution for organizing your personal data. KOrganizer supports the two dominant standards for storing and exchanging calendar data, vCalendar and iCalendar.

Features:

  • Support for multiple calendars and to-do lists
  • Storage model
  • Undo and Redo
  • Todo integration with agenda view
  • Attachments for events and Todos
  • Quick to-do and event entries
  • Print support

Personal rating: Three hundred grapes – An organized organizer

Plan – Planner alternative

Plan is a project manager. Unlike Planner, it’s a full-blown manager for moderately large projects. Its features:

  • Multiple views: Gantt Charts, Resource View, Accounts View
  • Uses standard structures: Work breakdown structure (WBS), Resource breakdown structure (RBS), Cost breakdown structure (CBS)
  • Configurable level of detail on Gantt Chart
  • Supports Summary tasks, Tasks, and milestones
  • Configurable Scheduling Constraints

Personal rating: Thirty raspberries – A good project manager for small to big team

Honorable mentions – Few other small apps

There are few applications I like, but they do little. So I’m listing them here. KFind is a tool that helps you search the whole disk for a file, file type or folder. It works standalone or with KRunner.

KCalc is a calculator for KDE that has amazing features such as Trigonometric functions, logic operations and statistical calculations, a results stack which enables convenient recall of previous calculation results, precision is user-definable and more.

Ark is a graphical file compression/decompression utility with support for multiple formats, including tar, gzip, bzip2, rar and zip, and CD-ROM images. Ark can ‌browse, extract, create, and change archives.

KTimer is a little tool to execute programs after some time. It allows you to enter several tasks and to set a timer for each of them. The timers for each task can be started, stopped, changed, or looped.

Krusader is an advanced twin panel (commander style) file manager for KDE Plasma and other desktops in the *nix world

Wrapping up

I ‌like KDEs effort to deliver quality apps, including some very successful apps such as Krita and KDENLive. They constantly push updates for these apps and they work great. Some apps are not as good as their mainstream counterparts, but it seems you can make an entire system comprising KDE Applications.

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