The villages are one of my favorite things in Minecraft these days. You can build houses, shops, or anything you can imagine and villagers will occupy the buildings. I have started a project to make a somewhat advanced city for them in hopes to modernize their living situation. I also heard that in the next updates to come we will finally get to trade with villagers! One of the other things I really enjoy in Minecraft these days is multiplayer. Multiplayer has gotten a lot better, whether it be bug fixes, optimization, or just more user friendliness, it has certainly been changed for the best.
Some of the more recent updates include the new height limit, which makes the buildable area of the world twice as high as before. With the new height limit there have been some amazing new buildings made. New chat features such as link sharing also make the multiplayer experience more fun as well. New decoration blocks such as smooth sand-stone blocks and creeper sand-stone blocks have made an appearance as well. All in all Minecraft has improved greatly since official release and continues to get better. With the upcoming mod api I'm excited to see what cool new game experiences awaits us!
You can view all the changes to Minecraft at the following link: http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Version_history