Google Introduces New Google+ With Revamped UI and Focus on Communities and Collections

This afternoon, Google announced that it has been working on a new version of Google+ that is ready for prime time. Over the past couple of months, Google (with help from users of Google+) realized that a big part of the social platform’s growth was in Communities and Collections, and so that’s where the latest redesign takes its focus.

With Communities, you get a forum-like atmosphere within G+ that allows you to discuss topics with like-minded folks. With Collections, you have a way to bundle together the posts you like by topic, to help you stay organized and on top of your favorite things.  (more…)

Victory: Google Decoupling Google+ and YouTube

In a blog post published this morning, Google states that with Google+, a few things could have gone better. “While we got certain things right, we made a few choices that, in hindsight, we’ve needed to rethink,” Google admits. If you happen to use YouTube and Google+, then you will know that statement could not be more true.

Before the changes that are set to take place, setting up a YouTube account attached to a Google+ profile, especially if you are a Google Apps user, was beyond ridiculous. And please, let’s not get started on the YouTube comments section regarding the involvement of Google+ and your need for a profile attached to your existing Google account.

Google+ Photos Begins Shutting Down on August 1

Because Google introduced Google Photos back at Google I/O as their only photo service going forward, they will begin shutting down all that once was Google+ Photos. On August 1, Google will kill the Google+ Photos app on Android (web and iOS thereafter) and recommend that you install the new Google Photos app should you want to continue using Google’s photo service.  (more…)

Report: Google to Launch Standalone Photo Sharing and Storage Service at Google I/O Next Week

According to sources of Bloomberg, Google’s rumored standalone photo service, which will be entirely separate from Google+, will launch next week during Google I/O. The service could feature many of the things we know and love about the current Photos service from Google, such as Auto Awesome, but the ties to Google+ will no longer be there.  (more…)

Collections Feature Going Live Right Now on Google+

Google+ Collections, the social community’s new topic-based feature that we first broke news on a couple of weeks back, seems to be going live to the general public right now. Our own Droid Life G+ page has been given access to Collections, which you can see above.

To check to see if Collections is live for you, head into Google+ and slide open the dropdown menu on the left side and look for “Collections” grouped in with Communities, Events, and Hangouts.  (more…)

New Google Photo Stories Showing Up in Google Now

Folks who utilize Google Photo’s auto backup will begin to see new Stories pop up directly through Google Now. To explain, if you take enough photos at any given time, Google will throw those photos into a Story, then put music and effects to it. Moving forward, these Stories will appear in Google Now for easy access, where as before, you would receive a notification through the Google Photos app.  (more…)