Vic Gundotra hosted a Google+ event this morning announcing 18 new features. Before we get into all the changes, Vic announced that Google+ now has over 540 million active users and 300 million in the stream at anytime. He also mentioned that over 1.5 billion photos are uploaded each week and growing rapidly. Now let’s get into the changes….
- Added Single tap location sharing
- Added the use of Animated GIFs
- SMS integration so all your messaging can be in one place
- Auto Awesome features such as boosting the light of people that are in the Hangout. This includes a focus effect or a spotlight feature
- Hangouts On Air – Better planning including a dedicated event page plus special editing features like turning up the volume for only one person
Vic mentioned that “treasures are stranded in devices” and organizing is difficult especially between family members. Even if you can finally organize things, editing is another daunting task. How do we tell the stories of our photos?
Backup – Backing up photos on Google+ has always been full size by default, but iOS users will get auto backup as well with their next update.
Highlight – Google+ has been picking out our best photos since Google I/O, but they have improved the algorithm.
Search – We already could search our photos, but 1,000 additional words have been added so that you can search your images even if they aren’t tagged.
Editing – Auto Enhance has been around since Google I/O for those that have no time, but Snapseed is also available for those that are more experienced and the Google Nik Collection for the seasoned pros.
You can now adjust the Auto Enhance setting to Low or High and you can also control it by album. Snapseed adds HDR Scape, which takes any photo and converts them to HDR with one touch. It works better with landscape and structure images. Last but not least, Analog EFEX Pro is a new addition to the Google Nik Collection
Auto Awesome gets two new features – Auto Awesome Action (similar to Samsung Drama Shot) and Auto Awesome Eraser (eliminates moving people)
Auto Awesome Movies
This is brand new and appears to be pretty amazing. Google will take your photos and videos from an event and put them all together in one “movie” set to music. This can be done automatically or manually. It includes stabilization, music, automatic cuts, and effects. Users will have full control for further editing including trimming and how long the video is to be. As to music, you will be able to choose from a predefined set of licenced tunes.
Not a bad set of enhancements for Google+. What do you guys think? Will this help bring Google+ closer to Facebook’s popularity? What are your favorite additions?