The KDE-PIM developers are preparing to release version 4.6 of the Kontact application suite with the rest of KDE. This is the first release of the Kontact suite since porting it to the Akonadi framework. Although bringing stability to the port has taken longer than predicted, missing a 4.5 release, the new framework will continue in the future to bring advantages in scalability and features to your favorite PIM applications.
So far most of the changes are under the hood, in that the applications do not look vastly different to their 4.4 versions. KMail, KAddressBook, KOrganizer, KAlarm and KJots have been ported to Akonadi and other pillars of the KDE Platform. For example, KMail, KAddressBook and KOrganizer now use Nepomuk for their search features. Notes can now be shared between KJots and the workspace via Plasma, and events can be accessed through both KOrganizer and the Plasma calendar widget. KOrganizer also sports a newly designed set of dialogs for creating and editing events.
The invisible features of Kontact in 4.6 have been the target for the release. KAddressBook, which migrated to Akonadi early for example is more stable than its 4.4 version. All of the applications are more robust against crashes due to complicated communication with remote servers, and user data is protected against data corruption and cached locally for fast access. KJots also gained a nice feature of being able to store its data on a remote server where the notes can be shared between multiple computers or mobile devices.
Mobile devices has also been a growth vector for Kontact through the 4.6 development cycle. Mobile versions of the applications in the Kontact application suite have been created. The new set of applications have been designed for touch interfaces such as the Nokia N900 and MeeGo powered tablets and have most of the features of their desktop counterparts - seamless handling of multiple accounts, full editing capabilities, powerful searching, message threading, complete cryptography support and much more.
We are confident that the 4.6 release of KDE PIM will impress users who want a full-featured, powerful and extensible application suite and that developers continue to build their own applications on top of the Akonadi framework and the KDE PIM Development platform.