Dolphin Emulator — the popular Wii and GameCube emulator — recently returned to the Play Store, making it easy to keep updated as Android beta development continues, and so it has. According to the latest progress report, Dolphin now has support for on-phone rumble/vibration in GameCube titles. Landscape mode is now forced by default as well on Android, and the developers would also like to apologize for some recent changes which broke existing savestates without warning for many.
As with all developer previews, Android P continues to surprise us with small but quite useful changes. This one is something I've always wanted since I keep my phone locked to portrait to avoid the flip flopping of the screen when reading in bed for example, but there are few instances I prefer landscape like when viewing photos or videos. Until now I had to toggle auto-rotate to do that then remember to lock it again, or use a third-party app that specifies rotation state on a per-app basis. But Android P has a nifty solution.
If you're a regular user of the dedicated YouTube Music app, you're probably accustomed to updates that add fairly non-obvious changes. The latest update includes a hidden gem that makes the offline mixtape feature considerably more useful. According to an official changelog posted late last night, we should also see screen rotation, but it seems that didn't actually make it into this release. As usual, there's a download link at the bottom so you can skip Google's staged rollout.
Following the big improvements to Maps on Monday night, Google is hitting us again with another update that is sure to make quite a few users happy, at least for those that use the Google Now Launcher (a.k.a. GEL). Support for a rotating launcher screen on phones is back, and if that's not enough, there's also a nifty new rendering feature that resizes app icons so most of them will look more consistent on your home screen. This update appears to have come out of Google's beta channel, but we've got download links at the bottom if you want to jump on it right away.
Instagram has a reputation. It's true. Whether it's the users who constantly snap pictures of their food or the ubiquitous use of filters, something immediately comes to mind when someone mentions the social network. One major aspect of its identity, for better or worse, is about to disappear. Instagram will no longer exclusively support square imagery.
That's right, ladies and gentlemen, Instagram is finally acknowledging that cameras don't take pictures in squares. Yes, cropping is a thing, but good cropping is also part of taking a decent shot in the first place. It can be a pain to have to crop things down again.
Version 2.6 makes BBM ready for Android 5.0, but don't get too excited. There's no big redesign here. The app still looks as Gingerbread as ever, it just now explicitly supports devices running the latest version of Google's mobile operating system.
That's not to say that the update is without visual changes. If you turn your phone sideways, the interface will now rotate to landscape mode in order to accommodate you.
Other features new to BBM users include the ability to share stickers in a group chat, set longer limits on timed messages (up to 60 seconds), share multiple pictures or attachments at the same time, and see when someone has received or viewed your photos.
The first major update to the Beats Music app since Apple bought the company two weeks ago is now rolling out to Android devices. This release, version 1.1, addresses some areas that previously revealed just how young a piece of software this is. For starters, the app now supports landscape mode. Go ahead, turn your phone sideways and see what happens. Better yet, fire Beats up on a tablet.
In addition to that, people listening in offline mode can now save music to an SD card. Other changes affect how users discover new music. The "Find It" section has been renamed "Browse," and the "Just for You" recommendations have been refined so that they're more useful.
The Nest Learning Thermostat gets a major update to its Android app today, mostly to add support for the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector. The Protect now ties into the Android app (assuming you have one, of course) with status checks for both sensors and multiple units in your connected home. You can add new thermostats or smoke detectors right from the app.
Beyond that, the app has been given a full visual makeover. It's undeniably pretty (even if there is a lot of wasted space), and fits in with the general visual theme of the Nest interface itself.