Animation/Entity Model Updates
This one is more for modders and mapmakers, but in short, it would allow the creation of new or different mobs, implemented via resourcepacks.
Inspired by a suggest from /u/LupusX on Reddit, Jeb added “Pressed Dirt” a path/road block, which is just shorter than a normal block, making it good for indented roads.
A new GUI (Graphical User Interface) for commandblocks is in the way, making it much easier to create commands. The revamped GUI would also allow pressing Tab to autocomplete (similar to typing commands in)
New Cloud Rendering system (nothing else on this yet, but hopefully we’ll get some nicer looking clouds!)
When asked for a spoiler for 1.9, Ryan Holtz (@TheMogMiner) tweeted “Planning on switching to using shaders. No more fixed-function OpenGL. Performance boost and extensibility, good times.”
This could lead to colored lighting, but we’re not sure
Proper support for multiple bosses
This means mapmakers can use boss bars to display information in their maps, and have multiple bars.
Ender Dragon Update
Dinnerbone has been reworking the Enderdragon Bossfight for PC, to make it similar to the Console Edition. To quote Dinnerbone, “I am redoing the mechanics to be similar to how it is on Console Edition, but I’m taking it a step further. I have Plans™.”
That’s all we know for now, but i’ll write another update list when a few snapshots have come out.