Mojang is definitely not one to rest on it laurels when it comes to updating its game Minecraft. Having gone through several updates already, the game is now going to be at version 1.3 come August 1st! The largest change is in the fact that there will no longer be a “single-player” only section. It will be a mode set on top of multiplayer. This will help to cut down on the total number of bugs needing repair in any given version as well as better implementation of mod support.
If you are a multi-player Minecraft junkie, you will see the most benefit from this version. Mojang has been working on optimizing the multiplayer code and making a smoother experience for those playing on the servers. Item-wise you will now have the ability to get emeralds, write in books, and trade with NPCs in NPC villages. You can also set up new traps with trip-wires so be careful where you walk!
There is much more to this update in smaller changes to the system but those are the main highlights. The modding API has been pushed back to Minecraft 1.4 which does not have an ETA as of yet.