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Everything you need to know about today’s Google+ updates, boiled down to the basics

Missed the big Google+ event and announcements? No problem… we’ll get you caught up to speed with minimal effort.

#1 Hangouts for mobile adds location sharing.

hangout-location

#2 App now shows animated GIFs, too.

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#3 The Hangouts App FINALLY has SMS Support!

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All your messaging in one place.

#4 Plan, Promote & Manage Hangout broadcasts

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New, dedicated hangout page for those scheduled in the future, allowing you to also promote them to your users. Once in the hangout you can manage by adjusting mic volume for individual users, removing users from a hangout, etc…

#5 Full screen video calls across devices (in HD)

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#6 Fix & Enhance webcam lighting automatically

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and manually add effects like Black & White Mode, Spotlight Feature, and Focus Effect.

#7 Full-size backups & background sync for iOS

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“Some memories don’t deserve to be downsized.”

#8 Deep learning and highlights in search.

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Google’s auto-tagging technology allows you to search your images for information you never added to the description yourself. Today they added 1,000 more keywords such as Vespa, Apple Pie, Kiss, Snowboarding, Waterfall, Dog, Beach, Sunset, Snow, Sunglasses. You can also search pictures of friends, family, and circles.

#9 Auto-Enhance further enhanced

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Google+ Auto-enhance automatically adjusts your images to improve quality: now you can turn the feature up, down, or off, and do so on an image by image and album by album basis.

#10 New HDR Scape filter in Snapseed (download the app)

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This will take a regular picture, an underexposed picture, and an overexposed picture, and then combine them to create a stunning photograph. Especially exceptional for landscapes and scenery. Unlike current mobile phones that try to imitate HDR, Google+ uses pixel edge contrast and is much more advanced.

#11 Analog EFEX Pro in the NIK Collection

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Lets you explore the classic camera look and feel.

#12 Auto Awesome Action

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Will show a trail and ghost backgrounds of the action, great for sports shots.

#13 Auto Awesome Eraser

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Lets you remove distractions and people in the way when you take multiple pictures.

#14 Auto Awesome Movie

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Will blow your mind. It takes your videos and pictures and automatically turns them into full blown movies with a soundtrack, cutting the music to match the action, while enhancing all the photos/video. When Auto Awesome Movie has something ready, you’ll get an Android notification and can go back and make manual adjustments, changing the music, removing clips/pictures, trimming duration, and more.

And there you have it… a boat load of awesome upgrades to Google+ that make me wonder why everyone is still using Facebook and Twitter.

Now back to your regularly scheduled Nexus 5 addiction fulfillment.




  • Tony Lai

    Still no nexus 5 :(

  • palf91

    Awesome recap, thanks!

  • Brad Hanson

    Quick correction on the HDR Scape in Snapseed. The revolutionary thing here is that it doest NOT have to have the multiple pictures at different exposures to make this filter happen. It can do this off of a single shot and get the same effect. The comparison was that this is accomplished today by professional photographers taking multiple shots at different exposures and then combining them. Now you can do the same thing on one shot with a single mouse click.

    • Eastern37

      Just about any basic photo editing software/apps are able to do this. Hardly revolutionary.

      • Brad Hanson

        The revolutionary part is how they do it and the quality of the change. Read the fine print and try it before you write it off…

    • Alfredo Albanez

      Thanks, I read you comment a little late. As soon as I saw the multiple exposure shots, I went straight to google play to try it… later to realize that is a single shot. BUT… it came better than my HDR Camera app! so im freaking happy

    • rustyjaw

      Also, they are doing the photography world a disservice by perpetuating the myth that HDR is a “look” – HDR is a tool for allowing the photographer to capture more detail in highlights and shadows. “Single exposure HDR” is an oxymoron, it doesn’t exist. It’s a local contrast effect and that’s all.

  • blest

    This is cool and all but when’s that app dropping?

  • Joshuahill

    Yea so what about public hangouts. I mean get serious, who are they trying to fool with hangouts on air. Its probably acceptable for people who has the followers but what about the person who just wants to video chat with people about random stuff or a set topic. Its ridiculous why they would remove public hangouts.

  • J Cav the Great

    cool stuff!!!!! but where is the Nexus 5?!?!?!?

  • Anthony McKay

    “And there you have it… a boat load of awesome upgrades to Google+ that make me wonder why everyone is still using Facebook and Twitter.”

    It’s getting people to use it/ learn it. I agree with you though. I can barely get my girlfriend to use hangouts or anything Google on her iPhone. She doesn’t get it..

    • Gideon Waxfarb

      Yeah, my family and computer-illiterate friends are on Facebook, while all the techies hang out on G+. Which, is as it should be. I don’t want to see the same stupid s**t posted on G+ that I see all the time on Facebook. ‘If you are my real friend, post this as your status for an hour …’ The day you get all the Facebookers over to G+ is the day you ruin G+ forever.

      • ari_free

        Facebook is for everyone you know in real life. Google+ is for everyone you don’t know in real life but would much rather talk to

  • King of the Zafferties

    Thank you so much Google Hangout team. I was waiting this app. Its really great user friendly and smooth

  • izzyt

    Plot twist: there is no nexus 5

    • Guest

      Dun dun duuuuuuuun

    • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

      Dun dun dun!

      • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

        Boo for lack of animated gif support! Hahaha

    • ari_free

  • Nique

    Hmmmm it may be better than Facebook or *spit* Twitter…and include some really handy features …..but I cant help thinking that Google has missed the boat on this.

    Similar to the Google vs Bing ‘battle’(…but up til now Google have been on the winning side there)

    I use FB as my main social communication tool for the simple reason that a majority of my mates are on it too, be they connecting via a PC, Mac, Windows, Android or Apple phone.

    Im guessing that even if this was available on other OS, the providers won’t exactly be pushing this to the fore.

    Thats why I think that this will stay as a niche product …… until some another platform out-Facebooks Facebook

    Who knows, it could be a future incarnation of G+……

  • TONY ALDO

    Now is this being rolled out by the background updates or through the play store?

  • ineptone

    I could care less about all of the “Auto Awesome” stuff. It’s the SMS support I’m excited about and am hoping will be the difference maker in getting friends and family to ditch FB and Skype for G+ and Hangouts.

    • http://www.geordienorman.com/ George Byers

      They just switched to Black Berry messenger I think, LOL

      • ineptone

        Talk about from bad to worse.. haha

        Truth be told, though, I don’t know a single person who downloaded BBM. Even former BB users snubbed it.

        • zifnab

          I downloaded, opened it, realized i don’t know a soul who uses it and uninstalled it. But I DID download it!

          • ineptone

            I did the exact same thing. Just one more time my curiosity has led me astray.

    • faldfjlk

      it’s you “couldn’t care less”.

  • merfsiu

    Where is the calling feature that ios got a couple weeks ago?

  • Angus Marshall

    HDR option doesn’t take multiple shots. It applies to a single image.