Some Ubuntu flavours (Ubuntu MATE included) have been criticised for not landing the latest version of their respective desktop with final releases of given Ubuntu version.
The upstream MATE Desktop team are preparing to release MATE Desktop 1.16 on September 20th 2016 and have already released development snapshot tarballs for all of MATE Desktop 1.15.
I've been working behind the scenes to coordinate with Debian and seek approval from Ubuntu to land MATE Desktop 1.16 in Ubuntu MATE 16.10. To that end, I have uploaded MATE Desktop 1.15.1 to the official Ubuntu Yakkety archives. This is so we can get some wider testing ahead of the Ubuntu MATE 16.10 beta 2 release. These packaging changes have been committed to feature branch in Debian git. When MATE 1.16 is released I will update all the packaging in Debian, my Debian sponsor will then upload all the packages to Debian and a couple of days later I will sync everything to Ubuntu. This should all happen in time for Ubuntu MATE 16.10 final release which is schedule for October 22nd.
This will not only make Ubuntu MATE 16.10 the first distro to feature a full GTK3+ implementation of MATE but also the first to ship MATE Desktop 1.16