Since posting this article we've been advised in the comments and elsewhere that this system update has caused issues in some cases; when an error occurs it prevents subsequent access to the eShop or System Settings. Courtesy of our wonderful Twitter followers we've been directed to a fix that'll shortcut you to the System Update screen to re-install. When turning on your system, hold the Left Shoulder Button, Right Shoulder Button, Up on the D-pad, and A together; once the update completes it apparently resolves an issue.
While it's likely to gradually make its way around as a SpotPass notice and an automatic prompt, there's currently a new 3DS system update available to download; it'll take you up to the rather fun sounding Version 5.0.0-11U — we've come a long way from version 1.1.0-1U.
The main changes are to the 3DS eShop, though system stability and usability have also been improved — in which we expect some new anti-piracy code to nestle. Nintendo's official site advises of the following updates to eShop functionality.
Users will no longer need to close the Nintendo eShop application to ensure the "Download Later" feature works while the Nintendo 3DS is in Sleep Mode.
Other improvements to usability have been made, including the ability to download software update data in the background.
Nintendo Life regular @sav904 has also pointed out that the "Nintendo eShop" loading text has been given a snazzy re-design, which does seem to be the case; it's a nice font, that's for sure.
There are two genuinely useful updates to eShop download options, however, so it's worth getting this update onto your handheld — it's confirmed as available in Europe and North America right now.
Thanks to Professor Clayton for the tip.