Google has just launched a major update to Google+ for iOS and Android, bringing photo filters, a brand new profile design, new features for communities, and much more.
First off, the big, flashy new addition Google+ for iOS is photo filtering. It’s part of a photo editing update that also lets you rotate and crop your photos. There are now 9 different filters to choose from, including black & white, warm, cool, and “retrolux.” In this regard, Google+ is catching up to other apps like Facebook and Twitter in capitalizing on the filtering craze spawned by Instagram.
This is the result of Google’s September, 2012 acquisition of Snapseed.
Google says that with the new editing software, you’ll be able to “do basic edits like rotate and crop, as well as select filters like Drama and Retrolux; adjust saturation, contrast, brightness and lots more by sliding your fingers up-and-down, then left-and-right; single tap at any time to compare your creation with the original.”
Other useful improvements include the ability to control the volume of posts from each of your circles or communities and a new search filtering option that lets you sort by best and most recent.
The last feature to get retooled in both the iOS and Android apps is Google+ Communities. Now, you can broadcast specific communities to your connections by sharing it of sending them an invite. You also have to ability to re-share posts with specific communities. Also, Google now shows you counts for unread community messages.
There are also some Android-specific updates for the Google+ app, including some improvements to how you view content in your stream:
- Posts include more text up front—from the original message, and from comments
- Tapping video, photo or link attachments takes you directly to a watch page, lightbox or website
- Image previews are rarely cropped, so you’ll see portrait photos (for instance) in all their glory
- Key actions like +1, reshare and comment are displayed more prominently in each post
- You can swipe through photo albums inline
Profiles on Google+ for Android now have location sharing. If you enable it (via desktop or mobile), you can now show where you currently are on your profile.
And on Google+ for iOS, you’ll find redesigned user profiles and the notification tray – both of which are cleaner. If you’re new to Google+ for iOS, Google wants to make it easier to get started with a new set-up flow when you launch the app.