It's been a good while since nx-hbmenu has seen a new official release, more than seven months to be exact, but that doesn't mean its devs haven't been working on new things to add during this whole time! There are a few upcoming features you as an end-user may be interested in, including one that has been merged very recently into the repo, so keep on reading if you would like to have a sneak peek on what's about to come.
First off, we have a simple yet useful addition by yellows8: a small icon showing the console's network connection status is now shown in the top-right corner of the screen, alongside the clock and battery icon/percentage. This will be useful to anyone who likes to use network-enabled homebrew (like RetroArch, BackupNX and your favourite title installers to name a few) as you will no longer have to open the quick settings screen or go back to the HOME menu to check if you're connected! The icon will also show whether you're using Wi-Fi, an Ethernet adapter or if you have Airplane Mode on and will change based on the current signal strength if you're connected to a wireless network. Another new feature made by the same author is external NACP loading, which may be useful to more experienced users. NACP is a format quite similar to the 3DS' SMDH (minus the image data) and it contains several bits of metadata about the specified application, such as the title in various languages, screenshot/video capture permissions, various attributes and so on. Why you may be interested in this, you ask? hbmenu already supports loading external JPEGs as application icons so, by using both features together, you'll be able to customize how an icon shows up in the menu without recompiling it first!
And now, here's another really interesting one. Thanks to @hippy dave
's contribution, you can now star individual entries and add them to your favourites! You can add a star to both apps and folders by either pressing X on your controller or tapping the related icon on the screen. Favourited entries will always appear first in the list, which can be very useful while browsing your homebrew collection! For example, you could use it to highlight your most used apps, differentiate between stable and unstable builds of various homebrew or even allow quick access to the "switch" directory on the root of your card in case you accidentally back out of it.
Can't wait for the next release? Don't worry, not only all of these changes have been pushed to nx-hbmenu's GitHub repo, but @hippy dave
has also shared a precompiled build updated to the latest commit at the time of writing (check his thread linked below). Just place hbmenu.nro on the root of your microSD card, then launch it with your preferred method on your console (eg. by holding R while opening an application or the Album on Atmosphère/ReiNX). That's it!
Are you excited about these features? Do you have suggestions for a new one? Feel free to write your thoughts in the comments below!
(nx-hbmenu's GitHub repo)
(hippy dave's thread)