Despite Minecraft’s official release, there are still updates coming in. Snapshots released by Mojang allow people to test the unstable version of the update and report bugs and issues. I’ll point out the most important ones that are of interest to players. These are all from the Jan 19th to Feb 15th snapshots from my own observations collected over time.
Firstly, there is a new Jungle biome. The Jungle biome adds new wood and leaf types. The Jungle has a new mob, the Ocelot, a kind of feline animal. These can be tamed with raw fish, and be kept as pets. A new item called the Jungle Sapling allows you to create your own jungle. The jungle trees are absolutely massive, some of them 2×2 at the trunk and extremely high.
Vines? They’re now climbable. That’s right, at long last vines are climbable. They are treated as a collisionless ladder. If they are on a block, they can be climbed. If they are simply hanging, they will slow you down, so be careful when running in the jungle if something is at your back.
Also on the subject of terrain, there are now Desert Wells. What these generated structures do exactly is unknown, whether they are simply decoration, or if Minecraft plans to add thirst mechanics, which would be a real chore to be honest.
Mob AI has been improved. The skeletons and zombies who have previously been at the mercy of the sun will run for water or into caves when they catch fire. Additionally, they will no longer try to jump over wooden fences. Zombies will also be able to smash down wooden doors like in Terraria, and iron doors on hard mode. Villagers now reproduce the same as animals, and will detect houses and live in them. Villagers were previously just decoration, so having some AI will be welcome. They can also work doors properly, socialize, run from zombies, and find shelter when needed. All animals are subject to the new AI system that has been implemented.
Mobs also have had their water actions changed. Most will move slower in water, but cave spiders can move through streaming water lightning fast, and zombie pigmen also swim fast in water. Ironically, that last point rarely comes into play since zombie pigmen are only found in the Nether. They are extremely rare in the overworld, not spawining naturally. It takes a lightning strike near a pig to cause one to appear.
In items, a new item called the Redstone Lamp lights up whenever it is powered, allowing for toggleable glowstone blocks. Zombies now drop iron gear, zombie pigmen drop gold gear(still fairly useless), and skeletons drop bows. A very, very welcome change. These are very rare drops however, so get hunting.
In interface, your death is slightly prolonged, preventing you from accidentally clicking Respawn or Quit when you die during a fight. Redstone can now be placed on glowstone, doors have been changed on a code level, and doubledoors work a bit better. The Hide Interface function now hides the wireframe on selected blocks.
Now, onto the system. The Block ID limit has been changed to 4096, and the world height has been doubled. Previously it was 128 blocks, with sea level at about halfway. This was already tweakable, but is now native.
As of now I don’t really recommend updating despite these major changes, as the list of bugs is just as long as the list of features, with some of them being borderline game-breaking. These updates are coming out fast however, with plenty of enthusiasts reporting the issues. These bugs include caves not generating, AI breaking, Redstone issues in Multiplayer (as usual), clay blocks being a one-way craft, The End being near-unplayable, and so on.
There is also a bug in the artificial stupidity of Minecraft forum users demanding updates to the weekly snapshot within minutes of release. This cannot be fixed without violating US law however.