The update's live now in the Play Store. Get it!

What's in this version:

- New feature: Google+ Communities
- Support for full resolution photo uploads via Instant Upload
- Subscribe to any circle for notifications
- Support for time zones in Events
- Basic profile editing
- Integration with Google Now to send birthday wishes to friends
- Support for animated GIFs
- Express your mood via animated images in posts
- View and explore Photo Sphere images (Android 4.2+)
- Add the Google+ widget to your device’s lock screen (Android 4.2+)

Google has been pretty consistent over the last several months about bringing new features to its up-and-coming social network. Things like in-line Photo Spheres make it unique among the top players, while newer offerings like Communities help users feel right at home if they decide to ditch Facebook in lieu of G+. However, the two aforementioned features have been lacking on mobile since their implementation. Google's going to change that today.

1 2 3 4

Later today, a pretty major update to the G+ app is going to hit the Play Store, bringing 18 new features to the mobile scene. What features, you say? How about a Photo Sphere viewer for starters (I'm most excited about this one). Oh, and Communities. And full-size image backups with instant upload - up to 5GB.

There's a bunch of smaller stuff, too; like on-the-go profile editing, improved content authoring, and a "subtle note when there's new stuff to read," among others.

1[5] 2[5] 3[5] 4[5]

All-in-all, this is shaping up to be a very nice holiday treat from Big G - we'll let you know as soon as it's live.

[G+ Project Blog via Vic Gundotra]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • James Nixon Steel

    does anyone have the apk?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Nobody does, it's not released yet.

  • itsgonnalast

    That's good news...I hope it has a ton of bug fixes.

    G+ won't even load for me half the time, and it always uses more than 30% of my battery.

  • infogulch

    Way too long without a built-in photo sphere viewer. Always drove me nuts.

    • QwietStorm

      4.2 has been available for about a month. I think that's pretty quick for not launching with it.

  • nmaxfield

    i'd like to see pull to refresh implemented, like all twitter apps and facebook.

    • http://twitter.com/NitrozK Nitroz

      Problem is that pull to refresh isn't advised in the Android app guidelines, so its doubtful it will ever be implemented.

    • selonmoi

      No thanks. Pull to refresh is garbage and has no place on Android. Stay firm, Google.

      • QwietStorm

        Why is it "garbage?"

      • nmaxfield

        problem we have with the growing demand for bigger phones: our hands aren't growing. i don't have small hands, by any means, but it's a bit of a stretch to reach the 'refresh' button on my galaxy nexus. i can't imagine how people do it with galaxy notes without using two hands :)

    • didibus

      I'd like to see push to the stream, so you don't even have to refresh

      • nmaxfield

        THIS. now that would be awesome!

  • br_hermon

    How sweet would it be if the photo sphere viewer responded to your gyroscope!? Just hold the phone up and look around through it :)

    • silaslenz

      The street view does that.

      • br_hermon

        Yeah, I was already aware of Street View doing it. That's what made me wonder if they could implement it here too. It'd be cool but who knows?

    • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

      Street View in Maps does this, it's called compass mode. I don't know why you can't do it with photospheres, probably because they're not recording directional data with the image, without it they wouldn't know which direction is north.

    • didibus

      Thank you! This is a must have feature, 360 Camera does it on both android and iphone.

  • woj_tek

    /me likes full-size photo upload!

  • jlschulz098

    Great, new updates for everyone in the smallest group of andrid versions, jb. Be nice to get some of those additions for the rest of us scmucks that will never get jb even though we bought our phones just a couple months ago like the rezound

    • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

      Blame the manufacturer.

  • Bradley Ruiz

    Its live now

  • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

    Yay, Photo Sphere support :D

  • http://twitter.com/ao9news andy o

    When a post is re-shared, there's still no link to the original.

  • Mapplegate

    So what's up with the new "Moods" feature?

  • Davy Jones

    Ok what's up with the new bottom bar (which replaces the old top bar). I am pretty sure multicolored labeled icons on a disappearing oversized action bar is not part of the android design guidelines.

  • http://profiles.google.com/kwillsrepsbk Kevin Williams

    I think Google has one of the best looking social apps out there.

  • br_hermon

    Ok.... why can't Google stick to their own Design Guidelines? What's with the new color icon bar at the bottom? Seriously Google, if you want developers on your side, lead by example! Jeesh...

  • Jon Garrett

    All I want is to use my page BY DEFAULT DAMN IT !! and not be forced to use my real name !!

    • John O’Connor

      I will agree with the page use feature. I wish there was a quick user change setting. as it is i have a gapps work account and personal google account. both have pages as well so it can be a nightmare for phone switching. As far as the real name thing goes. I don't see that as a problem, it is not forcing you to divulge any other info to the public

      • Jon Garrett

        but my page name is not my real name, I dont want followers and subscribers cross subscribing to my page and name accounts.

  • John O’Connor

    My favorites of the new features

    1 - New feature: Google+ Communities
    2 - Support for full resolution photo uploads via Instant Upload

    4 - Support for animated GIFs

    Honorable mentions (because they aren't available on many devices yet!!)
    - View and explore Photo Sphere images (Android 4.2+)
    - Add the Google+ widget to your device’s lock screen (Android 4.2+)