Using the standby mode will allow the console to regularly check the Internet for software and system updates in addition to SpotPass data. In the standby mode, the Wii U can download these updates and have them ready for you to install the next time you turn the console on. The updates can’t be automatically installed when the console is in standby mode, which is likely a good thing.
Beyond the additional new standby mode, Nintendo is talking about what else might have been included in the update. They are only giving out the normal party line, which is that the update includes further improvements to overall system stability and other minor improvements. We will let you know if we are able to get a handle on what any of these improvements might be.