Earlier today, Google announced a pretty significant update to the Google+ app for Android. Version 4.1, which follows 4.0.2, brought the following new features:

  • Google Drive Photos integration, including viewing, easier sharing, and auto-awesome/auto-enhance.
  • Account switching without having to log out.
  • Better location sharing controls.
  • Google+ified swipe-down-to-refresh (like Gmail, except with funky fresh Google+ colored bars).
  • Messenger extermination (finally, the Messenger menu item is gone).
  • Google Apps for Business support.
  • Update #1: G+ Photos gets its own icon in your app drawer.

Unfortunately for us, eager users, the update is staged. Very staged - from what I can tell, almost nobody has received it so far. Fortunately, someone has, and they've forwarded the apk to us. Just download and install it as you would normally - it'll update your Google+ to 4.1 in no time.


And now, some screenshots of the new stuff:

Screenshot_2013-08-14-15-01-50 Screenshot_2013-08-14-15-02-16 Screenshot_2013-08-14-14-56-23 Screenshot_2013-08-14-14-52-32

Screenshot_2013-08-14-14-55-10 Screenshot_2013-08-14-14-55-31 Screenshot_2013-08-14-14-53-12 Screenshot_2013-08-14-14-53-19

Update #1: G+ Photos gets its own icon in your app drawer:



v4.1.0.50809204, 17.7 MB (18,663,150 bytes), MD5 da216e8986fc82b8b6dadc119ff5f270:

Thanks, Kenji!

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • Mark

    So how can we be sure this hasn't been altered as per the recent signature weakness? Just asking, as surely passing around APK's of an unknown origin when there are flaws int APK cert chain is a VERY irresponsible thing to be doing.

    • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

      If you're running 4.3, you're totally safe.

      If you're running CyanogenMod 10.1 or one of the many kangs that recently merged the Master Key Fix 1 and 2, you're totally safe.

      If you're running outdated versions of Android, you've got bigger issues to worry about than some random APK posted by the always trustworthy AndroidPolice.

      • naysayer

        Not only that, Play Services also has protection for older devices.

        • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

          I forgot about that! You're right, Google's got all bases covered!

          If you're really paranoid, just wait for the update to hit you as was suggested by others :-)

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

        Also, if you open a malicious APK, you'd see 2 classes.dex.

    • Alter

      You can never be sure, so wait for the update to reach you and stay safe.

    • http://www.modminecraft.com/ Nick Coad

      Mark there's no reason you should have to download it. Just wait for the update if you don't trust this APK...

  • Sean Stone

    Now we just need that new Google Search...

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

      It's not an app update - it's server-side.

      • Sean Stone

        Ah, my bad. Thank you much.

  • Sam Hollis

    Can you choose which folders are shown from Drive? I keep Android projects in my Drive folder, and don't want a whole bunch of useless images.

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

      I can't see a way to do this. It's a bloody mess in there now.

    • Tacomonster

      Go to the Albums section on the web version. Choose the album you don't want to see in G+. On the right hand side, beside the Share button, is a downward facing arrow. Click on it and choose 'Remove album'.

      • Paul_Werner

        Worked for me, thanks

  • Jdban

    OH SHIT YES. The location sharing is improved tenfold. MUCH MUCH BETTER.

    • Paul_Werner

      Now if they'd only add the ability to send someone's position from this to Maps I wouldn't miss Latitude so much

    • Muhammad Zohaib Rizwani


    • Thomas’

      Yeah, it now includes all features of Latitude (except being available as a web service...) plus easier management of people (i.e., less redundancy).

      • Jdban

        I wouldn't go so far as to say that. It doesn't include google maps integration, or share my location via email, or the ability to force a location update (as far as I can tell)

  • Matt

    I'm so glad the location stuff is catching back up to Latitude:D

    • Jdban

      Its so much better. I just wish it would import my latitude data and give me a nice history map too :) (aka completeley reimplement latitude)

      • Matt

        I think that's what they're going for. Latitude really does make more sense in a social network like Google+ if they can implement it well and with a full feature set. If they keep going down this road, I'll probably be happy that they shut it down.

        • Jdban

          Any idea how to force an update? I'm 15 minutes out of date and my friend is 6 days out of date and we're trying to figure it out.

  • TheFirstUniverseKing

    Anyone else seeing their cover photo in the left side bar and nothing else? (No Home, People, Photos, Communities, etc)

    • york

      you must set the cover photo position again or choosea new photo and all is fine

  • http://mikebdev.blogspot.com/ Michael Baumgartner

    They added the pull-to-refresh feature from the Gmail app in the google+ app... Nice

  • hotshotz

    This added Google+ photos to the app drawer after they removed messenger.... What try.

    • Kevin Matthew

      CONFIRMED Photos no longer look blurry in the app! That was a nagging problem.

  • Sir_Brizz

    If they added G+ Photos to the app drawer, does that mean the Gallery is going to make it to the Play Store soon?

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

      Nope, it's just a shortcut to the existing Activity within G+.

      • Sir_Brizz

        Well that is useless.

  • dhruva

    what is g+ photos?

  • http://www.ScienceProUSA.com SciencePro

    Is a separate Google+ photos icon really necessary?

    • Luís Fernando

      Yeah! I mean, I already have a gallery for my photos why would I need an extra icon on the drawer. C'mon Google!

    • Herman

      It reminds me of that Facebook Camera app that was automatically added as well.
      It got removed after like a week already.

      So hey, if we all keep complaining about the icon, maybe Google will remove it as well!

    • CoreRooted

      It was highly requested through feedback. People wanted to be able to create a shortcut to their G+ photos/videos.

      For once, Google is actually listening to feedback and it still gets slammed. Figures.

  • hotshotz

    Sigh now we have 2 fucking galleries instead of 2 redundant messaging service for hangouts. Wtf Google.

    • storm14k

      Actually this is useful. Your local gallery has not been AutoAwesomed. To get to those pics you had to go through G+ like you were about to share. Now you can just open that gallery.

      • Rafael

        i was hoping that this is the start of something great....as in, the ability to create folders/albums, and to manage them...aka moving pictures from one album to another, or from the all pictures to a specific album. something much needed

  • Mukul Modi

    Not sure if this was in the old Google+ app or not, but I noticed the swiping from the right opens up notification bar. New or was it always there?

    • Matthew Bohr

      it was not, but it seemed like it was.

  • jonathan m

    have you guys noticed that G+photos not only "replaces" messenger in the drawer, but it also takes its exact place. being named G+photos it should be among the "G" but it is actuallly in "M" as messenger used to be

    • Mukul Modi

      Mine's in between F and G in my apps

  • Darko

    Is there any way to remove the G+ Photos from the app drawer its pointless and you can get to it from the G+ menu?

    • Rafael

      you can if you use a launcher like nova or apex...they have a hide function which comes in handy. other than that, there's no way to uninstall that from the apps unless you take off gplus altogether

      • CoreRooted

        Actually, almost every modern launcher (including TW and whatever LG calls their crapware) can hide app icons.

  • ndawson

    Not sure if this has been mentioned already, but it looks like location timestamps from latitude are back! Clicking the people icon on the locations page now shows the age of the location.

  • David Margolin

    google+ photos is a really needed addition... really liking g+

  • loranz

    You can also swipe from the right edge to reveal the notification drawer.. Something I'm sure wasn't there before.

    • MrMrMr

      It was

      • atcchris

        It is not on mine and I haven't updated yet.

      • mike

        It was there but you couldn't swipe to access it; you had to press the notification icon.

  • Jays2Kings

    Just noticed the right side full of notifications is also swipeable like the regular left sidebar.

  • http://jamieellis.co.cc/ Jamie Ellis

    Get rid of one icon in the app drawer and what do they replace it with - another!

  • http://www.ericschuetz.com/ Eric Schuetz

    Here is something interesting. I tried to install this APK to my Transformer TF101...no problems. Tried to install it to my Droid 2 running 2.3.4...Parsing error. SAME APK saved to the laptop. Transferred the same way to each device. I even transferred the APK from the Tablet to the phone just in case of anything weird going on with the laptop copy. Makes me curious...is this update available ONLY for 4.x.x devices? Thoughts?

    • http://www.google.com/profiles/MetalMessiah78 José Gómez

      I got the same parsing error on my Galaxy Nexus running 4.3.

      • http://www.google.com/profiles/MetalMessiah78 José Gómez

        I just tried reinstalling it again using the Downloads app, and it worked. I seemed to only be getting that error with Root Explorer for some reason. Never used to have that problem with Root Explorer before.

        • http://www.ericschuetz.com/ Eric Schuetz

          I never got back to this post, and yes, I got it to work as well.

  • fred

    i'm not getting the option at launch to "see drive photos in google+" cant find it in the options anywhere either

    • fred

      answering myself..its because its not available to google apps accounts, great :/

      • tom

        Have you found anywhere if this will become available for apps accounts?

  • http://www.westagemusic.com/ Marc

    Why do they clutter our App drawers with odd Icons? Facebook is best in such things with Facebook app, Messenger etc.

    • CoreRooted

      Why does it matter? Just hide the app in the drawer. There. Sorted. The reason they are doing it is because people have requested shortcuts to their G+ photos/albums/videos from anywhere in Android. App shortcuts solve that request (it's just launching an intent into G+).

      • http://www.westagemusic.com/ Marc

        You're right, in this case it is only an intent launching in the main app but for facebook, there is no way to get from the main app into the messaging app without that Icon. This is what really annoys me.

        • CoreRooted

          *cough* Facebook sucks. :) LOL But, I get what you are saying. I look at it this way; at least Google is looking at the feedback and trying to implement some of it. More than I can say for a lot of companies now a days.

  • MasterMuffin

    Also previews of links have been changed slightly

    • ckempo

      Yeah they have, surprised the font change (Roboto Light, is it?) hasn't already been picked up as one of the more obvious user-facing changes.

      • MasterMuffin

        Yea they were so excited about the font changes in 4.3

  • Manny

    I hope this is the first step in removing Google + photos from the gallery. That is one of the most annoying features on Android.

  • Jose Arce

    So basically we lose the annoying "Messenger" icon and we get a shiny new "G+ Photos" icon. I don't know when to start crying.

    • CoreRooted

      Does it really make that much difference? Almost every launcher out there allows you to hide app icons in the drawer.

      • Jose Arce

        It does make a difference.

        Hiding the icon doesn't solve the real problem behind this. Google shouldn't be offering solutions for issues we don't have, aka the need for separate messenger and photo management apps...

        This is how I see it anyway :)

        • CoreRooted

          True, but this was highly requested through the G+ feedback. Granted we, as tech enthusiasts and professionals, have no need for it, it seems that other people do. :)

  • Ryan Stewart

    Im really loving this new update. Its a bit closer to Latitude in functionality and the interface for Google+ just keeps getting nicer and nicer. Now if they just added the full maps interface to locations (3d maps, zoom and tilt controls, etc). Or at least give me an "open location in Google Maps" option.

    • Fifth313ment

      Exactly! With the new Google Plus update locations you can now update your location, it also now shows how much time since the last location "ping", contains newer Google Maps controls such as "my location" & zoom (why in Google Plus but not new maps) buttons, also new buttons to switch quickly between users and the entire user list, location proximity circle (from latitude which shows the approximate location of the user), seperate sharing options for precise (pinpoint) sharing and city level based sharing (similar to latitude) and finally the ability to filter users based on circles.

      Still missing satellite mode options and quick location sharing (my HTC EVO LTE has a location sharing option in text messages but it blow and won't use network location). And there is a bug in which it will show your Google Plus location and your current GPS location but they won't sync together on the map (You'll have two circles of light blue, one with an arrow with your Google Plus avatar and one which looks like the old GPS location circle?) This is everything I've found so far but it is a million times better than the crap they first released with Google Plus before killing off Latitude. Latitude was easier though as it was in the Maps app, which I don't understand why they don't link to it from Maps or vice versa from Google Plus?


  • Jarrod Davis

    Update #2: A new bottom bar shows up on a person's profile prompting to start a Hangout or a privately shared Google+ post.

  • Lakshay Pahuja

    The new photo app by G+ brings photo enhancement. check it out on http://www.techyclick.com/google-messenger-update/

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