We are getting close to a new version of Blender being released. As is typical, in the lead up to the release a test build or a ‘release candidate’ is out. This gives users a chance to find bugs and the developers a chance to catch bugs before making the release.
See the Details here: Blender 2.72 Release Notes.
There are improvements to the Cycles Rendering System. None of these changes have much benefit for designers targeting Second Life™. However, for those baking with Cycles, the progress bar is now supposed to work.
The User Interface (UI) has some improvements. There are pie menus now. Toole tips are improved, which is mostly just an appearance thing. Occlusion Selection has been added. This gives you an alternate style of selecting objects in a busy model. See User Preferences -> System tab -> Selection.
Blender Internal Render now behaves as the Cycles Render does, starts with a low resolution image and progresses to a higher resolution image. I think this is just a change in the display of the Blender Render process.
User input in various numeric fields has been improved. This changes how various unit of measure will work in these fields. I doubt many of us will notice the change, but I have yet to try 2.72 in this regard.
There is a change in how removing an Armature Modifier works. The removal is supposed to return the model to its original state before the modifier was applied. If X-Mirroring was on those changes are undone.
There are modeling changes in how vertex dissolve can work. You now have an option to ‘tear’ a face. As it is now the faces merge. I’ll have to experiment with this one. Generally if I remove a vertex, it is because I am making changes that may be easier if I tear the face, leave a hole.
There is supposed to be a demo of this in the below video. However, I don’t see that they specifically point it out.
Texture/vertex painting got improvements. (Reference) The color palette changes. Swatches will be handy.
There are bug fixes and other minor improvements.
There are some new add-ons. One is a UV alignment tool. (See YouTube)
There is also a UV Copy add-on. (See YouTube)
Breaking things is improved. The video is kind fun.