Mojang are planning to release the final version of Minecraft 1.9 on Monday, February 29, and a pre-release version is now available.
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The full patch notes are planned for release closer to the launch of the full update, but for now here are the complete patch notes for the pre-release build:
Bugs fixed in 1.9-pre2:
- [Bug MC-35127] - Wrong NBT TAG Type for fallTime in FallingSand Entities
- [Bug MC-35714] - Sounds loop/restart when exiting screens
- [Bug MC-89928] - Portals not placing the player at correct coordinates
- [Bug MC-90101] - Mob Spawner is overwriting (ignoring?) Pos[x,y,z] data of entity
- [Bug MC-91290] - Skeletons with no AI spawning naturally
- [Bug MC-95538] - /playsound command doesn’t work with selectors not resolving to exactly one entity
- Bugs fixed
- Increased durability of shields
- Some crystals in the end are protected by cages again
- Added 34.7% more hype for Minecraft 1.9
- [Bug MC-96863] - Marker ArmorStand Should Not Have Passenger Offset
- [Bug MC-97217] - Weird placement of player while riding an entity after swimming with elytra
- [Bug MC-97235] - Resource pack in minecraft world save file not working
- [Bug MC-97251] - Rail Duplication Glitch
For information on how to get snapshots (or the pre-release build), head over to the official Mojang patch notes.