Wow, where to begin. We've just received an email detailing a huge update to the Home beta next week. The update will bring the version number to 0.8.3 (taking us ever closer to its release at v1.0.0) and the information comes from the beta message board on the official PlayStation site, so we're certain it's legit. There's a lot of stuff to go over, so we'll pick out the most interesting bits and paste the full patchlist after the break.
Improvements to the UI and graphics engine mean that Home will look much prettier and be more functional from here on out. You will be able to check who's online from your friends list as well as who is in Home right now. A bubble machine has been made available to all beta testers, to test the new "Home Items" system. Video streaming is now made possible too, so you don't have to wait for a video to download completely before watching it.