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.