A few days ago, we posted about a new Google+ feature called Collections expected to launch in early May. An update to the social network's app appeared earlier today, and while it probably won't produce any noticeable changes to the interface for most of us, it's packing everything Google needs to begin rolling out Collections to everybody. There are also some reports that a few people are already gaining access to Collections a little earlier than expected without being a part of the initial test group.

A quick teardown reveals a couple hundred new strings, some new activities, and even a few custom images (seen above). We already know what's coming, and that it's coming soon, so there's no reason for a full teardown. Here are the key bits. A couple of these strings do answer some popular questions.

  • Collections are linked to the creator's account.
  • If people follow you, they automatically follow all of your collections. This implies people can follow just individual collections without getting everything you post.
  • Users cannot follow a collection if they have blocked the owner.
  • There is a limit to the number of collections you can create or follow. Those numbers are still unknown.
  • The owner of a collection can see its followers.
  • Your profile can show the collections you follow. However, you can choose to disable this, just like hiding the list of people you follow.
  • You can limit who can see your collection. This is great if you just want to create a collection for your friends or family to see.
  • If a collection is suspended for violating any terms of service (hate speech, illegal content, copyright infringement, etc.), it will only be visible to its owner and the content will be deleted after 2 months. Owners can adjust the content of the collection and apply to have it restored.

<string name="clx_product_name">Collections</string>
<string name="spaces_learn_more_tour_intro_text">Start a collection to group your posts by topic. Post photos, videos &amp; more.</string>
<string name="clx_my_empty_stream_welcome">Your collection is now live on your profile.</string>
<string name="clx_featured_collexions">Featured collections</string>
<string name="clx_createupdate_autofollow_text">People that have you in circles automatically follow this Collection</string>
<string name="collexion_abuse_appeal_rejected">Your &lt;b>%1$s&lt;/b> collection has been suspended because it still contains content that violates our &lt;a href=%2$s>User Content and Conduct Policy&lt;/a>. &lt;br/> &lt;br/> %3$s on Google+. &lt;br/> &lt;br/> The collection is viewable only by you. The collection and its contents will be deleted within 2 months. To keep your collection active, please remove the offending content and submit an appeal.</string>
<string name="collexion_blocked_follow_state_message">You have blocked the owner of this collection. Unblock the owner if you want to follow it.</string>
<string name="collexion_error_follow_limit_exceeded">"You are following too many collections. Congratulations, you've reached a limit :)"</string>
<string name="collexion_error_limit_exceeded">"You have created too many collections. Congratulations, you've reached a limit :-)"</string>
<string name="collexion_privacy_preference_checkbox_text">Show collections you follow on your profile.</string>
<string name="collexion_not_displaying_your_followed_collexions">"You're not displaying your followed collections on your profile."</string>
<string name="collexion_privacy_alert_message_body_part1">The owner of the collection will be able to see that you are following it.</string>
<string name="collexion_privacy_alert_message_body_part2">Collections you follow will be displayed on your profile to people who can see the collection.</string>
<string name="spaces_learn_more_tour_connect_and_explore_text">Pick who can see your collection. Give followers a place where they can get just the right stuff.</string>

There is one other interesting tidbit from the teardown. It looks like somebody caught on that Google+ is the social network of choice for animated GIFs. (That's GIF with a hard G.) Of course, anybody on a slow connection will hate to wait for images to load up in full-motion glory. It looks like users will now receive a warning when network conditions aren't going to cut it. A single frame of the image should still load, and there will be a button to resume full-size downloads.

<plurals name="animated_gif_count_content_description">
<item quantity="other">%d animated gifs.</item>
<item quantity="one">%d animated gif.</item>
</plurals>

<string name="animated_gif_emoji_description">%s, animated gif.</string>
<string name="animated_gif_network_speed_tooltip">Autoplay is off due to network conditions. Tap to play.</string>
<string name="animated_gif_user_setting_tooltip">The Conserve data usage setting is on. Tap to play.</string>
<string name="gif_in_list_count">Animated gif. Item %1$d of %2$d</string>

Some people have already reported gaining access to Collections after installing Google+ 5.4. If you'd like to check it out for yourself, there's a download link below. If you have access to Collections, there should be a welcome screen when you first launch Google+. If that doesn't appear, the link will be located in the dropdown list located directly below your profile picture on the main screen. Just look for a white block across the screen with the word Home, that's the dropdown.

If your account hasn't already been welcomed into the club, you can join me in (anxiously) waiting for the rollout to expand to everybody.

Download

The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.

File Name: com.google.android.apps.plus-5.4.0.92311906-413923289-minAPI19.apk

Version: 5.4.0.92311906 (413923289)

MD5: 91c804b9ca7ff1d3b7d71e34863072b0