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. Read More
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+. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
According to several tips from Android Police readers, the Google Play Store may not require you to have a Google+ account to write reviews anymore. This news comes hot on the heels of reports that the +1 button is disappearing from the Play Store (which Artem is still devastated about, by the way). In fact, the two situations are very likely related. Read More
The updates are flowing steadily today and Google+ is playing along with its own set of tweaks and enhancements. This version looks like it's mostly centered around subtle refinements and closing some old to-do items. The biggest visible change seems to be profile pictures that appear in the comment previews below posts. That doesn't mean there aren't a few other things to check out. A teardown adds to the fun the promise of configurable "flair" on your own profile, tap-to-reveal covers for potentially inappropriate images, and the setup for privacy settings. Read More