May 20 AT 2:46 PM Dustin Earley 22 Comments

Google Plus update brings the web’s best new features to Android


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.

Source: Google

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • mikeytusa

    I love how everyone in the Play Store is in a state of panic because they messed up the release of the app. Lots of one star reviews for a definite 5 star app. Relax, everyone. It will be available soon.

  • Tapeworm

    I just received the app on my GS3. Haven’t really explored much past the settings, but hey; they do look sweeter.
    Locations look awesome as well! The saddest thing is, no one (apart from me) in my circles wants to share their location, mostly because they don’t really use G+.
    Meh. Sad.

  • epps720

    Updates look great now we just need to get people to use G+

    • o.j. simpson, live statement from jail

      didnt know g+ was still alive

      • Mark

        I wish it wasn’t. It is useless as a social network or news feed or whatever Google thinks it is. Worst part is that they are cramming it down our throats despite the horrid privacy it offers. Just look and the Hangouts debacle. They were so eager to trojan-horse G+ onto devices that they threw out every feature that made Talk fantastic. I really fear what will become of messaging if sms gets integrated into that mess. It will be the Brundlefly of messaging apps.

        • space_racer

          may be you can ‘choose’ not to using it.

        • noleman

          Spot on — 100% agree.

          Why can’t Google just leave well enough alone.

          No one wants Google+, accept it and move on.

  • aranea

    I got the update on both nexii 4 & 10. I’ll use and let you know how I like it.

  • sjakkmatt

    Regarding the new features for auto uploading photos from smartphones.
    I DO NOT like the Auto Enhance feature because if something is to be done with my photos, I want to do it myself.
    As i’m very much capable of picking the best photos in a batch, I do not like Google to do that for me. Probably I will disagree with Google on which photos are picked as highlights.
    The Auto Awesome feature I probably will not like.
    In short – I do not want Google to mess with my photos. So how can I turn all this mess off?

    • renyo

      Go to Google+.. In the left side Home panel click Settings… Scroll down till u come to Photos and un-tick the appropriate boxes…

  • CTown

    As wonderful and innovative as these features are, I still don’t like all Google is pushing Google+ down or throats the way they are now. They literally are using each of the Google services that we actually want to use in order to force us to use Google+ (such as Talk and Play). I know Google is a advertising comment but enough is enough.To bad it will probably work for them in the end.

    • CTown

      Sorry, for all the typos. I’m trying out SwiftKey. It really is a great keyboard. However, its overzealous prediction and spell checking features get in the way of something as simple as renaming a file…

    • renyo

      Well they are trying to integrate social features in all their apps… I believe you have an option of choosing it or not… And while they bring out new products, they always give you a choice to switch back to the old thing (at least for sometime)… Its all up to you…

    • thel0nerang3r

      I don’t see how they are forcing anyone to use it. You always have the option of just leaving it there… and not using the app completely. On the app itself, if you go to settings, about Gooble+, you get an option to “Disable Google+”. So, I don’t see how it’s being forced onto anyone.

  • donger

    Google is on top of things.

  • pookietwo

    spam link

    • thegrau

      Really ? What was your first clue ? ;-)

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  • John Smith

    Who the hell asked for this Google+ crap in our Facebook app? Enough with this stupid social network garbage. We already plenty of apps for that juvenile mentality form of amusement. Come of Google do something original instead of this redundant tripe. Make Google+ an add-on for Facebook, not a required part of the app. I don’t use Google+ on my desktop and laptop and I don’t want to use it on my phone either.

  • dreamkiller

    The latest update of google plus brought an awsome notification and other tweaks. download the update from windroidblog.blogspot