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Major Updates Arrive at Google+

Posted on 10.30.2013

The developers at Google+ have been busy, because the social network has introduced several new features to Google+ Hangouts and Photos.

According to Google, the company’s social network has 300 million people active in its stream each month and more than 1.5 billion photos uploaded every week. The platform’s new updates aim to take a lot of the work out of messaging, video calling and photo editing. Learn more about these updates below:

Google Hangouts

The Google Hangouts for Android app now supports SMS messaging, enables users to share their location and view Animated GIFs. Google has also improved the video calling experience for Hangouts by making video calls full screen across both mobile and desktop and introducing technology that enhances webcam lighting automatically. 

As for Hangouts On Air, broadcasters can now promote these events with a dedicated “watch page.” Once the Hangout is live, broadcasters can moderate the conversation in a new Control Room. Users can expect to see the new Android app and video calling features within a few days, while the On Air features will be rolling out over the next few weeks.

Photos

In addition to improving the Hangout experience, Google+ announced a host of new photo and video features. For example, the platform’s Auto Enhance feature can be used to improve every photo added to Google+ and users have the ability to dial up or down the enhancements as well as exempt an album entirely from using the feature. Plus, Google has introduced a new HDR Scape filter for Snapseed.

The platform also revealed new techniques for Auto Awesome, which is a feature that helps users bring their stories “to life in creative ways”. Among these new features is “Action”, which enables users to create a strobe-effect photograph. Moreover, Auto Awesome’s new “Eraser” feature allows users to remove moving objects to obtain a cleaner image, while the platform’s “Movie” feature creates highlight reels from a user’s photos and videos automatically. These highlight reels come complete with effects, transitions and a soundtrack, however, users can edit and customize the videos if desired. The company states that all of these photo and video improvements should be available sometimes this week.

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