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. Version 6.1 is absent some of the activities and many of the resources that made up its Photos functionality. The APK has trimmed a little more than 20% of its weight, dropping from 28 MB to just 21.1 MB.
For users that have already picked up Google Photos, this is a purely good change, since it removes the dead weight from a part of Google+ that was no longer accessible. For those who have kept the new Photos app off of their hardware to hold on to the editing capabilities in Google+, you'll probably want to pick up Google's other photo editor Snapseed – which contains basically the same set of editing powers – or check out some of the other editors available in the Play Store.
Android M Permissions
Feel free to file this one away as incredibly obvious, but Google is working to make its apps compliant with the new permission model in Android M. A new set of warning messages is present in this version and will be used to notify users that they have either declined or disabled certain permissions for Google+. The groups named here are: Camera, Contacts, Location, and Storage.
<string name="camera_permission_denied">You turned off permissions for the camera. To edit, go to Apps Settings.</string>
<string name="camera_permissions_denied">You turned off permissions for the camera. To edit, go to Apps Settings.</string>
<string name="contacts_permission_denied">You turned off permissions for reading your contacts. To edit, go to Apps Settings.</string>
<string name="location_permission_denied">You turned off permissions for the location. To edit, go to Apps Settings.</string>
<string name="locations_permission_denied">You turned off permissions for the location. To edit, go to Apps Settings.</string>
<string name="storage_permissions_denied">You turned off permissions for the storage. To edit, go to Apps Settings.</string>
Super exciting, right? /s
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.
File Name: com.google.android.apps.plus-126.96.36.199431628-414161579-minAPI19.apk
Version: 188.8.131.52431628 (414161579)
Alternate Title: Google+ Experiments With Radically New Diet Plan, Ready For Bikini Season In Under 3 Months