A new report from Bloomberg claims that Google is in the final stages of prepping its new online photo tool, which has been rumored for months. Importantly, this tool would not be built into the Google+ website or app as the current Photos client is. Let's skip the part where we predict the downfall of Google+ and talk about what this really means.
The new Google Photos will apparently have better integration with services like Twitter and Facebook, though I'm sure Google+ will be in the mix too. Instead of hiding all the Photos functionality away inside Google+, it's going to be front and center on its own. Making your photos accessible in the Drive app is probably part of the same initiative. On the Android side, this likely means the auto-backup settings will be moved out of the Google+ app and into (maybe) a standalone Photos app or in the Drive app.
Even if you like and use Google+, you have to admit that tucking Photos away in there isn't the best idea. Some users simply don't want to dig into Google+ because it's "yet another social network." This doesn't have to mean Google+ is imploding—it just makes sense to have Photos live where people can find it. Bloomberg speculates this change will be announced at I/O later this month.