Just days after Google’s I/O developer conference ended, the company is rolling out a new Google+ app for Android devices which adds new photo and location features, as well as a revamped news stream.
The new photos section now includes automatic back-ups, which will save users’ photos safely and privately as they’re taken. This has been available on iOS for sometime, although users had to keep the app open in order to send the images to the cloud.
Google is also bringing over many of its new photo-editing features for Google+, including auto enhance, which makes subtle improvements automatically. There’s also Auto Highlight, which creates a selection of shots for the user to look over and share as a separate album. It’s an intriguing solution; most users will be sceptical about trusting Google’s algorithm, but it drastically speeds up the process of creating a respectable album from hundreds of holiday snaps.
Auto Awesome is the final addition, adding the ability to create new, light-hearted versions of existing images – such as animations or panoramas – based on photos in users’ existing libraries.
Location sharing has also been overhauled in the Google+ app to take users’ circles into consideration. Until now, users have only been able to see the current whereabouts of other people provided they’ve chosen to share it with them through a Google+ circle.
This has been updated with a new ‘Locations’ section, available from the side-menu, which display all of the users’ current locations on a map. It might be a small feature, but the idea of monitoring where other people are in order to make plans and arrange meet ups sounds awfully similar to Foursquare’s playbook.
In the stream, the Google+ app has also been tweaked to include the new automated hashtags found on the desktop version. They appear at the top-right hand corner of individual posts and tapping on then will produce new streams of related content. Neat.
Bradley Horowitz, Vice President of Product, Google+, said today: “Photos, location and the stream are only some of the things we’ve improved in today’s update. Notifications are nicer to look at and easier to use. You can edit additional profile fields on the go. And there’s one-tap access to the all new Hangouts app — just to name a few.”
The new Google+ app for Android is rolling out today in the Google Play store.