At the Google I/O Conference, a number of improvements and enhancements were announced for the Google+ platform, and those updates were live on the web version that day. Now, many of those updates have come to the mobile app, along with a few other changes. According to the update:
- New Google+ Photos features keep photos organized and looking their best
- Make your photos look even better with Auto Enhance
- Browse highlights from all your photos
- Share short animations, panoramas, and more
- Hangouts has moved to it’s own app for messaging and video calls
- Discover interesting content via related hashtags
- Ability to edit more profile fields and upload a cover photos
- New interactive Google Offer posts in the stream
- Control how often What’s Hot posts appear in your stream
- Support for displaying strikethrough text
- Ability to edit comments
- Ability to copy the post’s permalink
Google spent a lot of time enhancing the photo experience for casual users, so it’s nice to see the same attention being spent to the mobile photo experience. Uploaded photos can use Google’s Auto Enhance feature to automatically adjust lighting, structure, balance and more. Go into settings and choose Camera and Photos to turn off Auto Enhance and Auto Awesome globally. Auto Awesome is where Google+ will note that you took several images in succession and turn those rapid images into a single animated image.
Now, whenever you view a specific post, it will have hashtags displayed in the upper right corner, just like the web version. And when you create a post, you can tag it yourself or let Google automatically assign “related hashtags” for you. Trending topics also now appear within the stream.
And now the bad news: ads are now being inserted into our stream in the form of Google Offers (https://www.google.com/offers). Google Offers are essentially Google’s version of deals and coupons where you’ll purchase the offer in order to save money on the actual product or service you’re interested in. Unlike other deal platforms though, not all offers have to be purchased. Some, like Brookstone’s $20 off a $100 purchsae, are a simple coupon that you simply “clip” by accepting into your account, and then show it at the participating store.
When I update my Google+ app and scrolled through my stream, I saw the new hashtags, a trending topics card, but no Google Offers, so it remains to be seen just how prevalent these will be.
Grab the udpate and let me know what you think!