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Google Plus

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Opinion: Google+ isn’t dead, but it is drowning in spam (though it plans to do something about it)

Last month Gideon Rosenblatt did a post on Google+ about the very platform, and it resonated with us here at AP. Many of you may know that we have invested a lot of our time here into Google+. After all, this is Android Police, and Google+ is as much a product of Google as Android is. But, we’ve been disheartened recently by issues with the social network. Most notably, a growing problem with spam.

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Google Photos v2.13 adds video stabilization, hints at possible Google+ integration [APK Download + Teardown]

There's nothing like adding great new features with an update. The latest version of Photos began its rollout yesterday and it enables a video stabilization feature we've been looking forward to for months. A teardown of the apk also raises the question: Would the Photos app ever find itself reintegrating Google+ in some way? If you're not in the mood to wait for this version to hit your device, hit the APK Mirror link at the bottom to get this update a bit early.

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Google+ v9.3 reveals plan to move Location Sharing to Google Maps and make a more useful cropping tool [APK Teardown]

This week has been busy with updates, but many are just checking bugs off the list before everybody takes off a couple of weeks for the holidays. The web interface was given adjustments for how frequently Recommended and Trending posts are shown, and there are now better recommendations and a new horizontally scrollable view on the mobile site, but only the improved recommendations made it over to the app (so far). The interesting part of the apk update is in the teardown, which confirms plans to relocate the location sharing feature to Google Maps. There is also evidence of a new improved image cropping tool in the works.

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Image drag-and-drop now works on the new Google+ web interface

Ever since Google+'s web interface was revamped, one function has been absent from the new redesign: image drag-and-drop. This meant that you had to click on the image picker, browse through a file system, then choose the image you want to insert into a new post or a comment. It's especially counter-productive when you're already flipping through your images and you think you've found one that you want to share on G+.

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Google+ communities will now sort posts algorithmically instead of chronologically

Social networks have started to embrace algorithmic timelines (that is, where posts are sorted based on how the service thinks you will like it), instead of showing each post in chronological order. First Facebook introduced the feature, then Twitter and Instagram, and now Google+ is enabling it for communities.

Google+ already sorts posts in the home feed based on relevance, and now Communities will do the same. Algorithmic timelines actually make sense for Communities, which are often loaded to the brim with spam. Presumably, content that users actually interact with will be pushed to the top, and the spam will be invisible for most users.

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Google+ is now a core service on Google for Work (or Google Cloud)

For months, we have seen Hangouts shift from Google's primary messaging service to being focused on business use. The official Google for Work (which is in the process of becoming Google Cloud) blog has announced that Google+ is moving to the same purpose, and is now a core feature for businesses to use.

Starting immediately, Google+ will have "the same technical support and service level commitments as any other core service, like Gmail or Google Drive," according to the blog post. This shows that Google is serious about the future of Google+, perhaps not with a focus on the average user, but no doubt both parties will benefit from continued support from Google.

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Google+ v8.7 now opens image comments in a full screen viewer like any other image [APK Download]

Google+ wasn't the first social network to allow users to embed images directly into comments, but it's supported now and most of us seem pretty happy about it. The only problem with image comments was that a few features were missing from that first implementation. A couple of weeks have passed and we're now looking at a brand new update that fills in most of the gaps: enabling users to open images in full screen, save them locally, and more.

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Google+ push notifications now available on Chrome, seems a bit buggy right now

Several major websites have offered push notifications with Chrome (and other supported browsers) for some time, including sites like Facebook and eBay. Today Google+ is now supporting this feature, enabling users to receive notifications even when the site is not open.

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[Update: Community moderation is rolling out] Google+ v8.6 is rolling out with support for images and link previews in comments [APK Download]

Google announced yesterday that the Google+ "Web Preview" has been officially promoted to the standard interface in browsers and the Classic UI would vanish in the next few weeks. Alongside this news, a few new features were also mentioned, including support for embedded images and link previews in comment threads and new community moderation features. Not to be left out, there's a new update for the Google+ app rolling out today with the new comment features. Community moderation doesn't appear to be enabled yet, but based on a recent teardown, it's probably coming soon.

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Google is moving Hangouts On Air to YouTube Live for future broadcasts

Coming as an inevitable surprise to no one, Google has announced today that Hangouts On Air will be leaving Google+ and moving to YouTube Live. All future broadcasts will need to be scheduled in YouTube Live, and events in Google+ will shut down after the hard date of September 12.

Google says that recorded Hangouts On Air will still be available on YouTube, and that Google+ event content will be available in read-only format in the Activity Log.

In regards to Q&A, Google's suggestion to broadcasters is to use Slides, which has the same feature, in conjunction with broadcasts. The company also suggests that questions are gathered ahead of time via social media.

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