Last night, Google’s Vic Gundotra took to Google Plus to write that he was having a hard time falling asleep because he was excited about something that was set to happen today. This morning, like clockwork, a huge update for the Google Plus Android app was released with photography, location and discovery enhancements, putting the app on par with the website which was revamped at Google I/O.
Probably the biggest changes in the new Google Plus app for Android are the photography features. At Google I/O, Google introduced several useful new utilities for Plus that made your photos look better, and made them easier to share. The new Android app focuses on three major areas of photography, and automates them all.
The first area is editing. Google Plus’ new auto enhance feature does just what it sounds like. By tweaking a few simple things, like contrast or adding some smoothing, your photos are automatically improved when uploaded to Google Plus. You don’t have to leave them auto-enhanced, but in my experience, Google Plus actually does a fantastic job. Also related to photo editing, the new Plus app includes built-in Snapseed editing, for those that want more control over the changes made to their photos.
The second photography related feature is auto highlight. After a long day of photo taking, Google Plus will go through the photographs that have been auto-uploaded to Plus, and find the best ones, making it easier to share highlights. Auto highlight is a neat feature, especially for those days when you’ve taken a ton of pictures, and don’t have anything in particular you want to share.
The last major photography feature is auto awesome. Auto awesome goes through your photos, and makes things like animations and panoramas, which Google apparently considers Awesome. Until we spend more time with auto awesome, we won’t know just how awesome it really is. It could certainly turn out to be a neat feature.
Outside of photography features, the new Google Plus app has made some changes to location sharing, and content discovery within the app. With the locations tab in the new Plus app, if users are sharing their location, you’ll see exactly where they are, in either a list view, or a handy map view. To bolster content discovery, Google has added auto-hashtags to posts from the Android app now. With posts being auto-tagged, more of Google Plus will be categorized, making it easier to find content relevant to your interests.
There have been some issues in rolling out the update to Google Plus, but rest assured, they are being worked on. Once you get your hands on the new update, let us know how you like it either in the comments, or on the Android and Me Google Plus page.