Tuesday Poll: Google+ Turns 5, Do You Still Use It?

Google+ turned 5 years old today. Don’t believe it? Check out our original announcement post, as it’s filled with awesome notions like, “it looks to be one hell of an impressive social tool that may even stretch beyond what Facebook has been doing.” Yeah, we were spot on with that one.

While 5 years is quite the milestone, it’s safe to say that Google’s social network never really quite took off. The only time Google probably saw an uptick of use in the service was when YouTube required users to make a Google+ account for uploading and commenting, and we all know how well that went. If you don’t know how it went, just know that Google retracted that requirement almost a year ago.

Anyway, Google+ isn’t dead. It’s still alive and well. And while the community there isn’t as vibrant as we all might like, it’s still an excellent source to follow your favorite Android news blog.

So, do you still dabble in Google+ or is it dead to you?

Do you still use Google+?

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Google+ 7.2.0 Update Brings Faster Web Browsing, Search History

Still rocking Google+? If so, a big update is rolling out for the Android app, one which includes 29 bug fixes, addressed accessibility issues, and a strengthened web browsing experience.

As detailed by Googler Luke Wroblewski, the app now utilizes Chrome custom tabs to preload web sites when they are linked to inside of a Google+ post. This allows web sites to load much faster. Not only will speeds be increased, but other features like saved passwords, autofill, and Tap to Search are also available in custom tabs.  (more…)

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…)