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.
Google has been talking up Snapseed and it's enhanced HDR mode in recent blog posts and events, but the Gallery-based photo editor is getting a boost in Android 4.4 as well. This new editor will be shipping with KitKat, but it's also part of AOSP.
The layout of the editor has been tweaked a bit and has support for both phones and tablets. A lot of the filters and effects were already present in the Gallery, but it looks like you have much finer control over things now.
One of the many photography-oriented announcements made during today's Google+ event was Snapseed's new HDR Scape filter, one which promised to produce awesome photos with a dynamic range that's deliciously high.
Unlike stock camera HDR modes, Vic Gundotra was sure to point out on stage today that Snapseed's HDR Scape filter doesn't approximate tonal mapping effects by measuring pixel brightness, but instead detects pixel edge contrast, which according to Gundotra should produce more realistic effects, close to what you might achieve with a set of bracketed exposures from a "real" camera.
Following the new improvements to Hangouts revealed at today's event, Vic Gundotra announced a slew of new features for Google+ photos, including new auto-enhance options, 1000 additional image recognition words, Auto Awesome Movies, and other tools aimed at making backing up, editing, and retrieving your content even easier.
Google+'s new auto-enhance options improve upon the tweaks Google already applies to images that are automatically backed up to the service. Faces look brighter, noise is reduced, and vignettes are applied.
According to Yelp, "the stars have aligned" for its new release, bringing a much-anticipated feature and a few photo-related tweaks. The anticipated feature I mentioned is, as the title of this post suggests, the ability to publish reviews right from your phone using the "add review" button from any business page.
Previously, users could only draft reviews for publication later through Yelp's website. Now though, you can publish reviews on the go or in the heat of the moment, before ever leaving the establishment you're praising and/or criticizing!
Like most social networks, Instagram doesn't cost a cent to use, but it costs billions of them to own and run. Facebook paid a pretty penny to acquire the network last year, and the time has come to recoup those costs. Soon Instagram will start dishing out ads in the middle of your feed, and it will do so in a way Facebook users should already be familiar with.
The rollout is expected to take place over the next couple of months to users in the US, at which point they will start seeing the occasional ad pop up in their Instagram feeds.
Earlier today, we received a few emails from a tipster claiming to be running a build of the much-hyped and hotly anticipated Android 4.4 KitKat. I'll cut straight to the chase – we're pretty sure they're not real.
The photos we were provided show an alleged KitKat home screen, messaging app, dialer app, and "about" screen, each with their own design tweaks that, pretty or not, likely won't be showing up in official Android any time soon.
The Kindle Fire isn't the type of Android tablet that sends enthusiasts running to the store in droves, but that shouldn't diminish all that the tablet gets right. It remains one of the best-selling Android tablets out there, and if you aren't turned off by ads - excuse me, special offers - it's one of the best new tablets you can find at such a low price. Amazon will offer a refreshed version of their popular tablet anytime now, but new leaked photos may just spoil the surprise of what the company's upcoming tablet will look like.
Google Maps is practical, but Google Earth is kind of the show off side of Google's mapping project. You can explore satellite imagery from all over the world and check out detailed 3D photos of many areas. Now there's even more to see in Google Earth with the addition of your geocoded Google+ photos.
Every time Google pushes out a new version of Android, they lift up a new statue in front of the Googleplex commemorating whichever sweet desert serves as the current codename. When the company revealed Android 4.4 yesterday and its codename "KitKat," they released a photo of the new statue standing in front of similar ones for Jelly Bean, Ice Cream Sandwich, Honeycomb, Gingerbread, etc. Those statues are all made by the same company, Themendous, and those fine folks have released photos documenting the creation of the latest statue.