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Dolphin emulator adds Vulkan support for Android

The Dolphin emulator is an impressive feat of software engineering. Starting as a GameCube emulator, it later added compatibility for Wii games, due to the similar architecture. Over the years, Dolphin has gradually improved game compatibility; they recently reported that every single retail GameCube game boots. Even accessories like the Wii Remote and Wii Balance Board work perfectly, and experimental Android builds of Dolphin have been in development for years.

Dolphin on Android still isn't as usable as other console emulators, but the fault mostly lies with current Android hardware. Even the Nvidia Shield console, one of the most powerful Android devices on the market, can't run games at full speed.

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Action Launcher preemptively adds launcher shortcuts expected to debut with the Pixel Launcher

As you may have noticed in a recent teardown, Google's launcher shortcuts are most likely returning in Android 7.1 with the Pixel Launcher. This feature was part of the Nougat developer preview some months ago, but wasn't implemented in the final release. Now, an improved version is on the way, and Action Launcher continues its tradition of adding all the Pixel Launcher things before the Pixel Launcher even exists.

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Sphero's Star Wars Force Band lets you control BB-8 using motion gestures

The Force Awakens is approaching a year old, but by Star Wars standards, the merchandising is only just beginning. A particularly new offering is the Star Wars Force Band, which lets you control Sphero's tiny BB-8 droid that has been rolling around since the film hit theaters. But instead of doing so using an on-screen interface, you use the Force.

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Google officially rebrands 'Google for Work' as 'Google Cloud' and 'Google Apps for Work' as 'G Suite'

After a report from The Information a few days ago claiming that Google would be ditching the Google for Work brand today, Google has officially announced that their business-oriented service will now simply be called Google Cloud.

This actually isn't the first time the platform is being rebranded — you may recall it used to be called Google Apps for Your Domain a few years back. Obviously, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but it's possible Google may be targeting a wider audience by deemphasizing the 'work' aspect from the name.

One of the more important components of Google Cloud is the collection of apps that make up Google Apps for Work, including Gmail, Calendar, Drive, and a handful of other popular products.

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Video: Six years of Nexus - A Google phone history

As the Pixel phone announcement draws near, it seems that, if not going away entirely, Google's Nexus brand will at the very least be undergoing some major changes. Google intends to heavily market its Pixel phones if the last week is any indicator, meaning there really won't be much room for the Nexus phone program to exist in the same way it has in the last few years. Nexus may live on, but it will undoubtedly be in a capacity different from the more aspirational efforts we've seen Google make with it in devices like the Nexus 6, 5X, and 6P.

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Versus Evil releases Banner Saga 2, looks as beautiful as the original

The Banner Saga, first released on Android just under two years ago, is a beautiful, beautiful game, with fantastic graphics and a great story. The company behind it, independent games developer Versus Evil, has just released the sequel, Banner Saga 2, onto the Play Store, and my word does it look good.

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Hopper adds Watch Filters to tailor price drop alerts to the flights that matter to you

I haven't traveled anywhere in the past year, but if I had, I would have surely used Hopper. The app, which was released a little more than a year ago, monitors flight prices and predicts the best time for you to purchase your tickets for the lowest possible price. However, there was one aspect to Hopper that was lacking: it just looked at all flights and didn't take into account your personal preferences.

That has changed with the latest update to the app and the new Watch Filters. Now you can specify whether you prefer your flight to be non-stop or you don't mind, if you like shorter layovers, and if you want it to dismiss all basic fare flights where you'd need to pay more for luggage or seat selection or food. Hopper would then only alert you to the best deals for flights tailored to these preferences.

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The LG V20 officially becomes the first phone to launch with Nougat this week... in South Korea

Oh, LG. You and your marketing gimmicks. The LG V20 was announced as the first phone that would launch with Android 7.0 Nougat, and indeed, that's about to happen. However, the launch this week is only happening in South Korea. The rest of the world has to wait. It's still first, though. LG was technically correct—the best kind of correct.

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Find endless randomly generated loot in Looty Dungeon, from the publisher of Crossy Road

You've probably played Crossy Road at some point in the last few years. It's been successful to the point that it has created something of its own sub-genre in casual gaming. If you see a game with a title following the pattern of "verb-y noun," you probably know what you're getting into. The latest title in that category is Looty Dungeon. It's published by Yodo1 (like Crossy Road), and I'll give you one guess what it's about.

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Opinion: My early thoughts on Google's round icons (and consistency for its own sake)

By the time this post goes up, I'm sure most of our readers will have seen Google's circlified icons in the new Pixel launcher, bound for the new Pixel phones. I've been asked a few times what I think about the new launcher and, for the most part, I don't have a strong opinion. But I do have some thoughts about the circlified icons, some guesses at the rationale, and some thoughts about the downsides of consistency for its own sake. As with any written-from-the-outside post about design, I want to note up front that we aren't privy to any research, data, or other information Google used to make its decisions, so the best we can do is respectfully speculate and ponder.

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