- Added a dual-trackpad keyboard so I can type two letters at a time with my thumbs instead of hunt-and-peck
- Finally added a full-size virtual keyboard to the Linux desktop mode, so you probably don’t need to plug one in (previously, you could only summon the old 2015 dual-trackpad keyboard there, but the new one does touch and gamepad, too)
- Fixed the Wi-Fi so it automatically connects and reconnects without prompting you to re-enter the password it already has saved (it seems to reconnect to the Steam Servers faster, too, which has been an issue for me)
You can also now manually adjust your joystick deadzones and trackpad haptic strength, and there’s a whole bunch of USB-C fixes in the new BIOS since some owners had complained of issues charging or connecting or even getting their Decks stuck when plugging into certain USB-C devices. For instance, you can now hold “...” + Volume Down to retry the Deck’s USB-C Power Delivery handshake, and Liam at GamingOnLinux says it does the job. Oh, and you can now uncap your framerate (if you hate battery life) instead of locking it to 60 or 30 or 15fps. Uncapped hasn’t been an option since the Steam Deck first launched.
The new keyboard is immediately a better experience for me, but I still find it a bit lacking compared to the original dual-trackpad one: it’s a bit hard to reach some of the letters, and this version has no autocomplete suggestions. I’m hoping Valve will add voice typing and swipe typing down the line, but it’s fine for now. (BTW, you can long-press letters to get accents on them, in case you didn’t know.)
There’s also fTPM support so you can install Windows 11, though I hear that might have actually snuck out in an earlier beta build. And though Valve doesn’t mention it in the changelogs, I’m also seeing the ability to restart the Steam Client from the power menu if you run into bugs — previously, I’d been rebooting the entire Steam Deck, which takes longer.
I’m not sure I’ll be able to confirm some of Valve’s other fixes anytime soon, like better compatibility with SD cards, but there’s one more I’m looking forward to tonight: “Updated power LED to dim a few seconds after power supply connection events for better experience in dark environments.” Maybe I won’t have to cover the Steam Deck when I leave it charging on the nightstand anymore.
Last but not least, GamingOnLinux reports that, with a few tweaks, you can now play GeForce Now in Chrome for Linux on the Deck with gamepad support instead of having to emulate a mouse and keyboard since Google has shipped a version that can detect the Deck’s gamepad.