13
Nov
Google Thumb

A new update to Google+ is currently rolling out, and when it hits your device, not only will it bring along the usual bug fixes and performance increases, it will contain a number of new features. The Photos app now supports Android Beam, so two Android owners can share images with one another over NFC. There is also the new option to set images within Photos as a Daydream that plays whenever a device is docked. Lastly, users can pull up photo details from the drop-down menu, an ability that's more useful than it is exciting. A Google+ developer has shared screenshots of all three new features in action.

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As far as bug fixes go, starting with this version, your friends' current locations on the map will now refresh whenever you open "Locations," as they should.

What's new:

  • Opening “Locations” will automatically refresh your friends’ locations on the map
  • Photos now supports Android Beam, so you can share photos via NFC
  • Photos also supports Daydream, so you can view your pics in screensaver mode when charging or docking your device
  • Individual photo details are now available in the drop-down menu

As you would expect from a Google app, this update is rolling out in stages. The full build number we've spotted is version 4.2.3.56559274.

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It could take a while for the notification to pop up on your device, but if patience isn't one of your virtues, we have the APK available for download below.

Update #1: Google has mistakenly left some debug code in this build, which is causing connectivity issues within the app. The problem is that the debug code makes G+ use the sandbox backend servers instead of production ones. These servers weren't intended to handle the full load brought on by production APKs, so they're 502ing for many users. Download this APK if you want to check out the new features ahead of time, but don't do so if you want reliable access to your Google+ stream.

Note that those who already managed to update G+ directly from the Play Store this morning are subject to the same issue. After all, the APK below is identical to what the Play Store is currently serving. Those staged rollouts are starting to make sense now, aren't they?

We will update the post with a fixed APK once it becomes available.

Update #2: Google has released a fixed APK that uses production servers. The mirrors below have all been updated to this version.

Source: Google+

Thanks, Always Smile, for the tip, and TheManii, for the apk.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Mayoo

    This is a very welcome update! Good stuff. I can now use my old (since N5) Galaxy Nexus as a self-updating-cloud-enabled digital photo frame doubled alarm clock tripled Music hub!

  • Jdban

    The update is not working for me.

    Nexus 5 - Stock 4.4 - ART

    It keeps saying "Can't load data. Check your connection."

    • miri

      Same here on my Nexus 7 with Dalvik.

    • Ygor Vaz

      I'm still with the previous app version, but I had this problem when I was using wifi (gnexus), then I switched to mobile data and it worked. But if I switched back to wifi it'd stop loading again. Then I restarted my device and everything went back to normal. O.o

      • Jdban

        Same issue for me on both wifi and mobile data. I tried a reboot already.

    • Sven Andresen

      same here... sgs3 stock 4.1.2

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

      Some issues loading data sometimes here too, which admittedly looks like a server side bug. No crashes on the N5 though. 

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

      See my post on the real reason for this.

    • Paul Taylor

      Show off. :-)

    • Bill Stebbins

      Same here

    • MajkelG

      Same here on Nexus 4 - Poland

  • GreatNews

    Thanks, "Always Smile" :-)

  • ITsME

    What app is that Upload/Download meter in screenshots?

    • Guest

      Where do you see that?

      • ITsME

        Last one. About Google+

      • Sundeep Vallabhajosyula

        Edit: Ninja'd

        its in the bottom most screen-shot, right besides the About Google+ header, white text...

    • Luca Comellini

      Network Monitor Mini

      • Simon Belmont

        I just brough the pro version of that the other day. Great little app and only $1.00.

        KitKat doesn't show network activity in the status bar anymore (though it does in quick settings), so this is a great substitute. Love it.

  • a3uge

    Google needs to integrate this with the rest of the system better. The camera app uses Gallery while downloading/opening photos uses Photos. Also, I can delete a photo in "Photos" or G+ and it doesn't delete in Gallery. I can delete a photo in Gallery and it still exists in G+. It's confusing.

    • a3uge

      Also, they need to make up their minds when naming apps. It was G+ Photos a couple weeks ago, now it's just "Photos" while Google Plus is just Google+ and other Google services are "Play Music" instead of "Music" - it's just seems inconsistent and it's hard to find apps alphabetically in the drawer.

    • Paul Taylor

      Yeah... and Picasa? That's still available as a sharing option.

      • a3uge

        Haha I completely forgot that existed. I think those albums are saved in G+ now anyways. Should have been merged a long time ago.

  • Jeffrey Smith

    I've got to agree with Ron, Gallery is going down.

  • Nathan

    Is this known: I can say OK Google in Google Now without touching the voice button on my Nexus 4 in Dutch.

  • usaff22

    Ahem! I'm still waiting for my huge November 13 Google Search update with message and email dictation, thanks.

    • Simon Belmont

      THIS! Haha, you beat me to this.

      I thought it was supposedly a Nexus 5 only update, but who knows. Cheers!

      • Phil Oakley

        Pretty sure that the 13th November date was a rumour and not confirmed...?

        • Simon Belmont

          Yeah. It was a rumor.

          I guess it shall remain a rumor, for now. Looking forward to that update when it does emerge, though.

          • Phil Oakley

            Totally. Sounds like a good update.

          • Simon Belmont

            Aaaand, it's on the Google Play Store. GEL for all Android 4.1+ devices.

            That's a HUGE update to Google Search. So happy to see this.

  • Dexter Melling

    Getting "Can't load data. Check your connection." error as well.

    GS3
    CM10.2 M1

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

      See update above.

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

    Just looked into it. Turns out this is a dogfood build, so it uses sandbox servers instead of production. These aren't meant to be used by production APKs and aren't set up to scale, so they're 502ing from time to time.

    http://pastebin.com/J55rvZeX

    Google done goofed this one. We need a new APK that uses production servers now.

    Mind you, this was delivered using the Play Store to regular users, so I imagine everyone is having these issues, no matter how they've updated.

    • Matt

      Yup...I got the update today via the Play Store (3-4 hours ago) and have had the same issues with location sharing as others.

    • scuttlefield

      Mine was updated via the Past Store and is having constant connectivity issues.

    • skitchbeatz

      Is this the first time where a staged rollout was actually useful?

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

        It's rare that such stop-ship bugs happen, but they do once in a while, and even if staged rollouts are helpful in 5% of the time and could potentially save Google from a flood of 1-star reviews, it's worth it already.

        • David

          Heard of acknowledgements and fix stats from Googlers? and also you should really update the post stating that this apk will bork the app.

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

            It's already been updated for a while now. I haven't heard an acknowledgement yet.

    • http://profiles.google.com/geoffreyzub Geoffrey S. Zub

      There is a Developer settings option under the account settings page in G+ which you can change to the prod server if you want...

      • Keyan X

        Where?

        • Tim Meader

          Under "Account Settings->Developer Settings->Frontend Configuration". Setting it to "Prod" did seem to correct it for me.

          Thanks for the tip :)

      • Brad Breitenstein

        I made the change and it seemed to work for me.
        In the Google+ App Go to settings>under account settings click on your email>Developer Settings>Frontend Configuration> change it to PROD

        • Sam Hollis

          Does the Developer Settings only appear to people who are registered developers? I see no such setting. Or is it only visible in the dogfood app? I was just looking on the old version.

          • Michael Riggs

            The Developer Settings are in the dogfood version.

  • Simon Belmont

    What happened to that Google Search/Now update that was supposed to happen today? It was supposed to bring new features, voice commands, and cards to the Nexus 5, I think.

    This looks like a good update for Google+. Thanks for the APK download.

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    cayman real estate - Company specialize in Luxury Residential, commercial Real Estate sales & Property Development. Rainbowrealty is a proud Member of CIREBA.

  • shavn

    For fix, go to g+ settings, tap on your account then developer settings, change frontend to prod. Enjoy

  • oesjmr

    For once I'm one of the first people to get in on a staged roll out only to have the app crippled. Just my luck...

  • tekfr33kn

    I got the no data connection warning on G+, after I had just installed the new one, but 10 minutes later, the posts started flowing in. Maybe it's sporadic.

  • Peter

    Google, why you no Chromecast for Google+ Photos? Would be nice for auto-awesome movies and pics.

    • Trent Callahan

      Chromecast seemed like more of a beta product to me. I think they'll incorporate something similar in the future, but I wouldn't expect a ton of functionality from Chromecast as of now.

  • ammar

    pleaaaase i want it in Symbiaaaaaaan

  • Trent Callahan

    Daydream is sick. Here's to hoping they'll address battery-drain issues soon as well.

    Does anyone know if the Daydream feature takes photos from only your account, or if it shows photos from the news feed as well?

  • Dan Owen

    Just an FYI, I got the update through the play store earlier today, and I just got another update. Updated build version is 4.2.3.56611484

  • Moses

    Has anyone gotten the android beam function to work correctly in Photos? Sharing a photo between devices only brings up G+ on the other device for me.