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Google+ v6.1 Begins Removal Of Photos Functionality And Prepares For Android M's Permission Model [APK Download]

We rarely talk about apps losing features, but that's what has happened to Google+ today, but it's not such a bad thing. The latest update to v6.1 has started rolling out to users and it finally removes access to the Google+ Photos functionality that remained after the introduction of Google Photos at I/O 2015. A previous update warned users that the Google+ Photos functionality wasn't long for this world back in June, and about a month later Google officially announced it would be shut down on August 1st.

It may be a little behind schedule, but we all knew this update would be coming soon.

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Google+ v5.8 Declares Its Built-In Photos App Is Going Away, Directs Users To The New Photos App

The standalone Photos app was released to the public during last month's Google I/O conference, finally completing the separation with Google+ as rumors (and facts) had long suggested. While the new Photos app was widely accepted as an improvement in many ways, it also lacked many of the enhanced editing features that had made the old version so useful. Unfortunately, installing the standalone Photos app effectively hid access to the version built into Google+. That was probably a pretty good sign about what was to come. With the latest update to Google+, users who have stuck to the old version will be warned that it is not long for this world.

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[Update: New Material Refresh Animation With Play Services 7.3.27] Google+ v5.3 Makes Communities Look Much Nicer [APK Download]

The latest update for Google+ brings changes you probably won't notice unless you head to a community, in which case you will really notice. The main focus of the v5.3 version is a revamped UI for communities, which certainly makes things really pop. Here's a quick before-and-after look:

Screenshot_2015-04-16-23-09-36 Screenshot_2015-04-16-23-13-15

Left: v5.2 Right: v5.3

Now, an individual community has its own distinct look that makes it clear that you're not browsing through your main Google+ stream.

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[APK Teardown] Drive 2.2 Prepares To Replace Google+ For Photo Backup And Introduce Chromecast Support For Audio And Video

A couple of days ago, Google Drive made news with an update that introduced a new, intuitive Drag & Drop implementation for easier file management. While that appeared to be the only significant change, a look under the hood revealed not only that the Drive team is about to fulfill one of the most often requested features, but it also answered one of the many questions about the fate of Google+ Photos after the split.

TeardownHero

Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. Even in the most cut and dried examples, there is always a chance that details may change or plans may be cancelled prior to the launch of a new feature.
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Google+ Gets A Much-Needed Facelift For Mobile Browsers And Changes URL Structure To Match Desktop Version

Have you ever used Google+ on a mobile browser? It has never been very fun. Trying to share something or make sense of a link was no better. However, after over a year without noticeable improvements for mobile browsers, it has finally gotten a revamp. In fact, it's arguably a better experience than the current Google+ app for Android.

Here's a look at the new mobile web app.

Screenshot_2015-02-26-10-55-38 Screenshot_2015-02-26-10-46-32 Screenshot_2015-02-26-10-54-23

If you don't remember how it was before, here are a couple snaps from Google's out-of-date mobile web apps page:

Our reader Connor has provided us with better pre-update screencaps.

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Hangouts Status Messages Are Now Available In The Chrome App And On The Web

Are you eager to communicate your current hung-over status to your entire social circle without having to tell each and everyone of them to stop messaging you? Then you'll be thrilled at the latest update to Google's Hangouts messenger service. Actually, "update" might not be the right word - I suppose "retrofit" is more appropriate. On the Chrome app and the Hangouts portion of Google Plus, you can now set a semi-permanent status that appears to all interested parties.

omicron

This isn't really a new idea, in fact it's been a part of older messaging services for as long as I can remember (including Google's own Talk).

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[APK Teardown] Google+ v4.8 Tests Out Bandwidth Optimizations, Prepares For A Personalized 2014 Google+ Photo 'Yearbook'

A brand new version of Google+ began rolling out to Android users yesterday, but it didn't initially appear to do much more than tweak a few layouts and change the colors to something more theme-appropriate. During the initial teardown, we also stumbled onto the newly expanded Pinning feature, but Google beat us to the punch. Of course, since the feature is on a staged rollout to users, plenty of people won't see that quite yet. Fortunately, there were still some more things hidden beneath that digital surface.

TeardownHero

Disclaimer: Teardowns are speculative and based on incomplete evidence. There is always a chance that details may change, or entire features may be cancelled.
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[APK Teardown] Google Play Services 6.5 Adds Android Auto, Smart Profiles, Lockbox, Kid Accounts, And Expands On The Mysterious Firmware Updater

Since the launch of Android 5.0 last month, the sheer number of app updates has been magnificent – and downright overwhelming. Believe it or not, most of the new versions haven't done much more than add Lollipop support and splash a fresh coat of Materialized paint on the UIs. Seriously, we've been checking. This isn't entirely a bad thing, as it's giving me time to work on some other projects... You'll see soon enough <wink>. But, we've finally got something to talk about with the latest release of Google Play services 6.5. Strictly speaking, a few of tidbits to follow were actually first seen in different minor releases of 6.1, but we're putting it all together here.

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[APK Teardown] Google+ 4.6 Is Setting Up To Offer User-Generated Polls, Improve Wear Support, And Help You Follow Celebrities

Material Design was the driving force behind a Google+ update that began rolling out on Friday. But while there may be a newer look, there's very little to speak of in the department of functional changes. Naturally, I had to poke around to see if there were any surprises buried underneath the fresh coat of paint. As it turns out, there are a few things worth talking about. It's time for a Teardown!

TeardownHero

Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether. As with all rumors, even those with physical evidence, nothing is 100% until it's officially announced.
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Google+ Turns Three Years Old Today

Can you believe it's been three years since Google introduced its very own social network in private beta? We can - Android Police has published hundreds (Hell, maybe thousands) of articles about Google's social network, since it's been tightly integrated with the company's mobile, web, and search platforms. There have been a lot of big changes since then, and it still isn't the Facebook-stomping behemoth that some people hoped it might be. But the combination of innovative posting features and Google's sheer presence has boosted the service to more than 500 million users.

wm_SC20111007-100829

Man, look how ugly our Android Police logo was back then.

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