Nintendo made quite a bad first impression when it launched Wii U with an onerous system update. Thankfully, the latest patch from Nintendo makes it so that Wii U owners won't really be bothered with future updates again.
Version 3.1.0 U improves Wii U's standby feature to "regularly connect" to the internet whenever the system is turned off. It will check for SpotPass data and updates for both the system and games. Patches for games will be installed while the system is powered down, but firmware updates will need to be finalized when the system is turned on.
This feature is similar to the automatic update feature on PS3 reserved for PlayStation Plus members. On Wii U, however, the feature is free.
Another system update is planned for "between the end of September and the beginning of October," Nintendo points out on its official website. With this latest update, you'll barely even notice when it drops.