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Brand New Google+ App Introduced for Android With Location Sharing, “Great” Photos, and Better Stream Exploring

gplus update1

At Google I/O last week, the Google+ team unveiled the new web UI for their social sharing service along with a number of new features. We wondered at the time when all of this new goodness would arrive on Android – that time is now. The update for Android is being described as a “a brand new Android app.” So this is somewhat of a new beast altogether, with new ways to explore content, “great” photo experiences, and location sharing with Circles. There is a lot in here, so let’s talk about it. 

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With the new photo features, users are getting auto backups, auto highlight (top shots from your sets of photos), auto enhancing (subtle improvements to photos), and “Auto Awesome” (way to create “fun” new versions of pictures). When you upload photos to your G+ account, you can head into the Photos section to view these new Highlights, review Google’s enhancements, and check out the “awesome’d” pictures you have yet to see. The update also includes some of Snapseed’s photography tools.

On a location front, there is now a dedicated tab for “Locations.” This new section allows you to see where you friends are on a map, so that you can places to meet up should a Hangout not be in the cards. You can turn off location sharing if you’d like.

Last, we get the new card UI and exploring features we are seeing from the web version of G+. Tags are shown at the top right of posts, so that you can easily browse by topic. Notifications have been updated as well and are “nicer to look at and use,” plus profile fields can be edited on the go.

It’s a big update, so head to the Play store and look for it.

Update:  The update is now live! If you aren’t seeing the update on your device, try this trick.

*Note – The update doesn’t appear to be live yet.

Via:  Google+ Project | Play Link

  • yopauly

    I love mine!

  • Steve Benson

    Still have Messenger in my app drawer? Come on Google, how long can it take to migrate my data into Hangouts?

  • doesn’t seem much different.

  • breadable

    Not compatible with the Droid 4! I feel so out of date being unable to upgrade the social network app so few use

  • col3rsc

    Working for me now.

  • ddevito

    It just told me my device is incompatible. WTF GOOGLE?! (GNex, 4.2.2).

  • Did you guys miss this little teaser on the Google+ Project blog posts, “And of course: stay tuned for 43.” I think we all know what is 43, as in Android 4.3

  • “This app is incompatible with your Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus.”

  • Junkdruggler

    Do not install the newest update!!!
    It will do nothing but Force Close on any device..

  • Havoc70

    Look on the right its saying only compatible with Android 2.2 and up, someone screwed up posting it.

    2.2 – 2.3.7

  • I just clicked on the app on Google Play, and first thing I notice is that the latest update is 20th May. Next thing I noticed is that it’s now incompatible with all my devices, including the Nexus 4. Wtf, Google?

  • Phil

    LOL umm this app is not compatible with Verizon Galaxy Nexus.

  • Incompatible with my samsung galaxy nexus? WTH.

    • Marc Ross

      I just noticed that too, when I went to the web version of the play store. Also on GNEX. It will probably be updated a bit later.

      • Marc Ross

        Ahh, yeah it must be a staggered roll-out. Just noticed that it requires “Android 2.2-2.3.7.”

    • Getting the same thing

    • Steve Benson

      Same. No GNex love here. Staggered roll-out like Hangouts maybe?

    • I-Troll-U

      My N4 shows the same thing.

    • BubbleSort

      Same with the Bionic

    • col3rsc

      Same with Nexus 7.

    • punkroyale

      This app is incompatible with all of your devices.
      Verizon Samsung SCH-I605 (last used May, 2013)

      (Note 2)

      • punkroyale

        Now it says:

        This app is compatible with all of your devices.

        HA HA HA

  • I-Troll-U

    It’s updated but it’s not but it will be but not right now but…

  • ddevito

    I predict Android 5.0+ will have a heavy Google+ UI much like Facebook Home is now, which could explain why some stuff still doesn’t appear to be fixed/merged, etc.

    • Stewie

      Ahh the typical “Rush to blog first syndrome” … Nicer to confirm it’s out first …

      ddevito, I agree, but the UI itself will not be as invasive as anything FB does. Android’s UI may likely remain the same as it is, however behind the scenes we are already seeing G+ integration between apps, etc.

      • ddevito

        we’ll see – everything Google made these days has a card interface, at least the colors are changing – look at the new music app as a clue. Android may get a UI overhaul that makes it simpler and “elegant”.

        Time will tell.

  • Ganesh

    no updates yet… last updated on 4 apr ’13

  • Google is really impressing me these days! 🙂

  • Phil Nolan

    Hmm, no update showing yet.

  • Hangouts and Messenger in the sidebar? I can’t see the difference, weren’t they suppose to be merged?

    • Am I the only one who never really understood what “Messenger” was for and what the point to it was? All I know is that you could only use it with other people who had G+ on their phones.

      • Dan

        I think its ridiculous how little hangouts actually merges messaging. I hope that it replaces the messages app on stock android once SMS support arrives (assuming in the next android update 4.3) It’s the one thing im jealous of about my iOS friends.

        • Mathieu

          It won’t.

          SMS/MMS is a mobile communication standard compatible with 100% of all 4 billions mobile phones.

          Hangout is just another messaging service only usable with the Internet.

          Also, what’s the point of integrating only 1 messaging service (Google Hangout OR Apple iMessage OR Facebook Messenger OR Whatsapp OR …) in the SMS app … you’ll still need to use multiple app for messaging … since no company except Google wanted to build a standard for cross-service messaging.

          • Dan W

            That’s why he said “once SMS support arrives.” In the next update of Hangouts it’ll be adding SMS support allowing Android users to not only send messages on Hangouts but to also SMS those who aren’t on Hangouts. So, it very well may and probably will become the default messaging/SMS app on Android.

      • Geoff Johnson

        I saw Messenger on my phone yesterday and couldn’t believe that it was still around, I thought Hangouts was replacing it…

      • Brian Barcus

        Messenger has been a decent group chat tool – not great but surprisingly useful. Its biggest faults were not having a desktop client and problems delivering messages to multiple devices. According to Google, Messenger will not go away until the chat histories are ported to Hangouts and they are working on that now.

    • Eric Hare

      That is pathetic. Hangouts has been such an enormous fail

      • sirmeili

        I’ve actually swapped to it from gTalk and though I don’t use the video stuff, I think that the improved media sharing will be nice. Especially since I just left MSN messenger because they forced you onto Skype as of April.

        Add to it that I now just use one point of contact for certain people and i’m good. I could SMS my brother, or IM him, but he’s not always near his phone all the time and not always near his computer all the time. So i”m more likely to get his attention with this.

    • i though they were still working on getting all the messages from “messenger” over to “hangouts” i figured it would take some time. give them a little more time though….I can’t even find “messenger” on teh G+ site….so its kinda confusing why they didn’t get rid of it.

      • Eric Hare

        I’m pretty sure Messenger never actually existed on the web version of Google+, it was only for mobile. Which made it even more worthless.

        • ddevito

          Messenger on mobile was Hangouts on desktops. You had the same conversations between the two. Useful, yes, simple and intuitive, absolutely not.

    • saint_stephen

      They are indeed phasing out Messenger. Clicking on that link
      takes you to the list of your OLD messages with a huge sign up top
      telling you to make sure you “Update to Hangouts” with a button to open
      the app.

      I would imagine they are in the process of transitioning data from
      the messenger app over to Hangouts before completely nixing it…

  • Frank Fiorta

    Does it tag the Auto Awesome pictures in some way? I have yet to see one…

    • ddevito

      Same here. The only thing that appears to be working for everyone is the animated gif feature. So far zero of my pics have been auto-enhanced, but Google did say it’s going to take months to process everyone’s photos.

      • Wayne

        New uploaded pictures are auto enhanced, not old.

        • ddevito

          Not mine

          • Wayne

            That’s strange. Make sure it is set under your options.

      • Frank Fiorta

        I have the auto enhanced ones, but not any animated gifs or “awesome’d” pics that get everyone looking at the camera.