In 0.1.x PackageKit had a restriction it could operate on only one package at a time. This sucked for a multitude of reasons, the main one being that to install a few packages you had to wait for the preceding one to finish.
In an ideal world, we could still query a software list while we are updating, but a lot of the backends do not allow that, giving unpredictable results or ‘just‘ corrupting caches.
One of the main feature requests for 0.2.x was to handle multiple packages in one transaction. The API was slightly changed in PackageKit to support this in 0.2.1, and now the client tools like pkcon and gpk-install-package-name all accept more than one package at a time. Yay for the command line.
This left gpk-application, aka “Add/Remove Software” – which was much trickier to do in a sane way. Now, I’m not saying the screenshot below is sane, but it certainly works, and we can improve it in the few weeks before 0.2.2 is released.