The presence of Google+ is definitely growing as it continues to become a significant part of how we interact with many of Google's services. Early this year, the social network branched out to become a sign-in solution for virtually any kind of app or website. With an announcement yesterday, Google+ is now set up to accept sign-ins from Google Apps users and accounts without an actual Google+ profile. If that weren't good enough, the permission system has been greatly improved to support "incremental auth," which allows apps and websites to request only vital permissions to begin using them, and then ask for new permissions once the user is logged in.
Earlier today, Google announced a pretty significant update to the Google+ app for Android. Version 4.1, which follows 4.0.2, brought the following new features:
- Google Drive Photos integration, including viewing, easier sharing, and auto-awesome/auto-enhance.
- Account switching without having to log out.
- Better location sharing controls.
- Google+ified swipe-down-to-refresh (like Gmail, except with funky fresh Google+ colored bars).
- Messenger extermination (finally, the Messenger menu item is gone).
- Google Apps for Business support.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you are probably aware of the recent improvements and updates to the Google+ experience, both on the web and in mobile apps. While Auto Awesome, Auto Enhance, Auto Highlight, Auto Backup, and other widely discussed features are certainly exciting, one subtle nicety managed to fly under our radar until a post by Google's +Tor Norbye pointed out just how awesome it is.
The feature I'm talking about is visual recognition in Google+ photo search.
Hordes of excited Google+ users trying to get the new v4.0 update of their favorite Android app were puzzled this morning when their devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean were suddenly listed as incompatible. Numerous "WAT?!"s were exclaimed and heart attacks had, but don't worry, Google isn't canning Google+.
As you can see, the reason your devices are incompatible is simple - the Google+ team set the app compatibility to just Froyo and Gingerbread.
With the arrival of Google+ vanity URLs, we decided this would be a good time to share the AP love with those on the network who may not have added us to a circle yet. Speaking of custom URLs, we just snagged ours this morning; you can now find us at www.google.com/+AndroidPolice. Fancy, no?
What's in it for me? you may be asking. How about joining our over 48,000 other followers and great discussions with like-minded folks?
If you haven't heard, Google+ is getting an events feature. "Party at Ron's house, 9pm on Friday, who's coming?" - that sort of thing. News of G+ Events leaked, surprisingly, through Google Calendar. Someone discovered G+ Events code in GCal - Apparently there will be some integration. Sounds plausible.
The Android app, of course, is going to need to support the fancy new events feature too. The other day in our AP chat, Eric pointed out a hidden section in the G+ App's navigation list.
Update: It appears the widget for Google+ has disappeared in this update, and images now appear somewhat compressed and pixelated.
It's unclear if this is intentional (It seems one of the app's developers has said the widget will return soon, over on Google+.)
The Google+ app team just dropped a surprisingly massive update onto the Market, and it brings changes galore. In fact, there's so many changes that they've called it a "completely new app." Take a look:
The UI has taken a turn towards the styling we've seen in Ice Cream Sandwich, and menus have been reworked to resemble the next version of Android as well.
Earlier today we gave you a quick look at Chords from the new Google Plus 2.0 app that should be included in ICS. Now, let's take a closer look and compare the updated Google+ app to the current release, shall we?
Left: Old, Right: New
First off, the notification bar has been moved from the bottom to the top. Other than that, nothing really to see here (aside form Chord, but we've already talked about that).
In order to celebrate today's launch of TegraZone.com, the updated Tegra Zone Android app, and the new and really awesome Tegra-optimized game called Sprinkle, for our 6th giant giveaway we've once again partnered with NVIDIA, but this time the main prize - a 16GB Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 - is accompanied by a smashing bonus: the Tegra Zone power pack.
"What goes into this Pack?" you might ask, and I'll tell you.