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Google+ Claims 540m Active Users – Introduces Auto Awesome Video, Better Auto Enhance, and More

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Google+ users, get ready for more Awesome. Thanks to updates announced this morning during a live Hangout, you can expect the photo and video experiences through Google’s social network to get additional muscle in the very near future. We’re talking Auto Awesome for  videos, better control over Auto Enhance, new features for Auto Awesome photos, improved editing tools, full-size backups, and more. 

Here is the overview from the event, with the Hangouts section being covered at this post.

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As you can see, Google+ is no longer the ghost town that some use to refer to it as. With over 540 million active users and 1.5 billion photos uploaded every week, it has really grown into a great place for finding people with similar interests, sharing and editing photos, and chatting with folks through live video Hangouts. We’re quite active over there these days, so be sure to +1 us when you have a chance.

Photos and Videos

Google introduced new tools to better enhance or find your photos with little effort. Not only did they add new abilities to Auto Enhance, but they increased their library of words that help you quickly find photos with a simple search. They also brought full-sized backups of photos to G+ on iOS, if you care.

  • For starters, full size backups and background sync are coming soon to Google+ for iOS. This way you can backup your photos as you take them.
  • In addition, finding your photos is actually fun. We now recognize over a thousand different objects—from sunsets to snowmen—so you can just type what you’re looking for, and find matching items in your library.
  • Auto Enhance improves each photo you add to Google+, and now you can now dial the enhancements up or down. If you’re already processing your images elsewhere, you can choose to exempt an album entirely.
  • If you like to edit on the go, then you’ll enjoy Snapseed and its new HDR Scape filter. While high dynamic range (HDR) imaging requires multiple photos to create its effect, HDR Scape can deliver similar results with a single tap.
  • We’re also adding Analog Efex Pro to the Nik Collection (still just $149). With it you can reimagine your images using classic cameras and processing methods—from toy and medium format to wet plate and vintage.

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Auto Awesome photos was upgraded with three new features:  Action, Eraser, and Movie. Google provided examples of each, all of which we have included below. Keep in mind that Auto Awesome Movie only works on certain devices running Android 4.3+, but the rest of the new goodness is supported on most devices:

  • Action. Maybe it’s your child’s first gymnastic meet, or you’re skateboarding with a friend. Action can take their tumble or half pipe trick, and create a strobe-effect photograph.
  • Eraser. When you’re taking pictures of landmarks, people and cars often get in the way. Eraser can take a sequence of these photos, and erase whatever’s moving to give you a “cleaner” image.
  • Movie. Movie produces highlight reels from your photos and videos—complete with effects, transitions and a soundtrack—automatically. You can share the movie as is, or dive into the editing process to customize even further.

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And that’s pretty much that. There was a lot covered this morning, so hit up the Google source below to get all of the dirty details, or re-watch the event.

Via:  Google

  • carluverdrm2004

    I guess they consider me one of the 540 million active users…. but I really only use Google+ to back up my photos and +1 a page when entering a contest on here. I wouldn’t consider myself a Google+ user, though….

  • Chris

    540 maybe. Not 540 mill.

  • Justified text… Why Google, why?

  • panicswhenubered

    Nice video of some girl screwing around while driving on the highway. Pay attention to driving, idiot.

    • Defenestratus

      I’m sure you’re a baston of safe driving sanctity 100% of your time behind the wheel.

      • panicswhenubered

        I’m a baton of safe driving?

    • Chris

      most of the people at google are nerds. They forget thats the face us men make when we let woman drive.

      • michael arazan

        You let your woman drive, and you chose to remain in the same vehicle too? You deserve a Badge of Courage

  • a3uge

    I wish they’d find a way to sync photos a bit better on Android. It’s just not seamless at this point. If I want to delete a photo forever, I have to delete it in two places. Same thing with photos that I edit on G+.

    • Flat_Stanley

      Yeah! They should at least allow for a small delay before backing up photos so I can delete the crappy one. For now I have it wait until I’m charging.

      They added Drive-to-G+ compatibility, but I also want G+-to-Drive. Sometimes, I want to manage files on my computer (like with Picasa), and not via the web interface. Especially when I’m combining photos from multiple photos (camera, phone, wife’s phone, etc).

      • LionStone

        I’ll typically uncheck Auto Upload in Account settings if I know I’m going in a bad signal area. By the time I get back to LTE, I’ve already deleted the ones I don’t want so they don’t get Uploaded.

      • NBM

        Change to “while charging”… you can also manually upload to Picasa in between charging times (which is the same as G+, except offers better organization options)

      • michael arazan

        When Did G+ start autosyncing my Drive Files? I Found all my Drive vids and pics in G+. Also last G+ update synced all my phone’s pics even though I had it off originally, and had to turn off sync on my phone to stop it. Not to mention you have to go to Desktop settings for G+ to change things, why G+ doesn’t have all the settings in the app is beyond me and really non functioning.

        • Flat_Stanley

          The ability to sync Drive to G+ was presented as an option in a recent update (maybe even shown online). You would’ve had to opt-in for it to be available. Either way, you can switch it back off if you accidentally selected it.

  • Josh Flowers

    sadly, video auto-awesome for android handsets running 4.3 (and only some of them)
    per the official G+ blog post

  • Weber

    Search term: bikini

    • michael arazan

      Some really great Sara Underwood pics on G+

      • Weber

        You won’t even need the enhance feature

  • Greyhame

    Hopefully full sized photo backup makes its way to Android soon.

    • Greg

      It has been there since day one as far as I can remember. From the G+ app on your phone, enter settings>Auto Backup>Photo size> select full size. I think unlimitied standard size is the default.


      • Greyhame

        This is what I thought, but the photos on my phone are larger than they are on Google+. I also tried to select full size from the options via a pc browser, but it had problems saving that setting. It was strange. Are your photos the same size on your phone as when viewed on Google+?

        • Greg

          The issues is Bytes vs Megabytes. 1 Megabyte = 1,048,576 Bytes http://www.smartftp.com/support/kb/bits-bytes-mega-giga-tera-f53.html

          I just tested to confirm the file size isnt changing by downloading a picture i just took on my phone from 4 sources: Phone’s SD card, Drive, Picasa and G+ Photos. All four were the exact same size but depening on the program I used showed different but equal numbers. 1.78 MB = 1823KB = 1,866,861 bytes

    • Michael G

      Android already has full size backup.
      It’s just capped at a certain amount.
      Hopefully it gets UNLIMITED backup.

    • Shane Redman

      Wish they gave me a TB of full size, dedicated photo space like Flickr though. With Mail, Drive, and G+Photos all sharing 15 GB, I’ve ran out of space once or twice.

      • Flat_Stanley

        Yeah, and there’s no easy way to delete full-size autobackup photos except through the web interface. Is there a way to easily identify which photos are eating my space, and which are the free ones without manually checking all the sizes?

        • Shane Redman

          Not to my knowledge. I had that issue last night when I was reaching my 15 GB limit

      • Michael G

        I’ve actually slowly began moving to Flickr. I am liking Yahoo’s turnaround and with the TB worth of storage, I don’t have to worry about the limit.

  • Seth Merritt

    Look at those redacted notification bars.

    • Justin W

      That doesn’t make anything obvious at all…

      • rthvk

        Guess it could be showing LTE for the N5

    • DigitalDK

      But did they fix the back button? That’s the real question.

  • It became abundantly clear from this event that Google is trying to position Google+ as one of the best places for photography and sharing photos. This makes a lot of sense considering it became clear quickly that G+ wasn’t destined to become the next Facebook.

    In reality, though, G+ has evolved into a haven for tech types (anyone who’s anyone in the tech world is on G+) first and foremost. That said, I think the photography angle is a really great idea because it gives them a huge place to differentiate themselves from Facebook.

    Anyone who cares about photo quality will talk your ear off about how Facebook messes with your photos when you upload them. It messes with temperature, sometimes contrast as well, nevermind the fact the images aren’t full resolution. If Google can successfully prove to photographers that G+ is a better place to showcase their work, G+ will literally explode considering the explosion in popularity of photography the last 10 years.

    • Flat_Stanley

      I was a bit sad they didn’t add shared-contributor albums (like Facebook did), as I think it would be an extremely valuable feature for the regular consumer market, and not the pro market

    • Pedro

      If G+ were to literally explode, that would be a bad thing.
      Google would have to start over, unless they had backups.

      • MichelleEmNair

        My Uncle Christian got an awesome yellow MINI Cooper Roadster Convertible from only workin parttime on a pc. right here ✈✈ http://www.ℬay35.ℂℴℳ

  • brkshr

    I thought they claimed 300M “active users” and 540M total users?

  • ToddAwesome

    You’ve been auto awesome ERASED!

  • Droidzilla

    Auto Awesome video looks, well, awesome! Can’t wait to take it for a test ride. Google is truly doing some innovative stuff over at Google+; especially for photos. I honestly don’t get why anyone wouldn’t like Google+ just for the photo/video suite.

    • Shane Redman

      Right…looks like their take on Vine/IG videos

      • Droidzilla

        Does Vine do what auto-awesome does? And highlights? And search? And full size backup? I honestly don’t know.

        • Shane Redman

          nope….but they let your friends see a few seconds of your life…but I saw that G+ had an option for 15 seconds so it made me think of the other 2

  • jbdan

    Got the Snapseed update just now