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.
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.
Well, it's a start. While the Skype app for Android still has a bizarre and uncomfortable habit of forcing landscape mode, today's update at least allows users to use the portrait orientation if they're making a call. That's nice. Especially since the positioning of front-facing cameras on devices like the Nexus 7 make landscape video chats extremely awkward. Now if only we could get this for the rest of the interface, that would be great.
This isn't just for phones anymore!
Additionally, today's update brings a few bug fixes and support for Portuguese, Norwegian and English of the UK variety. Not a bad update.
In my review of the Galaxy Tab 8.9, I found that performance didn't seem to be quite up to snuff. A commenter noted that that was reportedly because the Tab 8.9 was designed to be used portrait mode, so the system has to rotate what's on the screen by 90°. And surprisingly enough, when I took another look at the tablet I noticed that it seemed to be true - things were smooth as can be when using it in portrait mode - it's simply that, unless an app requires it, I always use tablets in landscape.
So I'm curious: excluding when apps require a certain orientation, which way do you use your tablet the most?