A new versions of the Google+ app for the iPhone and for Android devices has been unveiled, offering enhanced photo features, the ability to show current location to selected recipients and tweaks for community management.
The enhanced Google+ functions not only make the mobile apps more consistent with the desktop version, they further fill out the path that Google+ is taking toward becoming a social, conversational core for the company’s archipelago of functionality across its properties. Photo features in particular are becoming a key competitive front for mobile social apps, such as Twitter’s filter/editing app.
Nik Software’s Snapseed
The photo enhancements come from the Snapseed photo app, bringing key features into the iPhone app. Last September, Google purchased Snapseed’s maker, Nik Software. iPhone users can now perform basic edits within the mobile app, such as rotate or crop when they’re in the process of sharing a photo, or they can select filters like Drama or Retrolux.
Saturation, contrast, brightness and other photo attributes can be modified by a finger slide up-and-down to choose, and left or right to vary. Want to compare your new version to the original? Just tap the image once.
Google has also announced a separate Nik Collection by Google bundle, including six plugins for Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture.
In the updated Android app, posts initially show more from the original message or comments, and key actions like +1, reshare or comment are shown more prominently. Tapping video, photo or link attachments brings a user to a viewing page, a lightbox or the website, image previews are less frequently cropped, and users can swipe to move inline through a photo album without having to move to the album page itself.
Mobile users are able to display their current location, and determine who is given access to that information. They also now have the ability to adjust the volume of community posts that are shown in the Home stream, and can invite people to a community or to reshare items within a community. For mobile community managers, there’s member search, content moderation, or the option to report, remove or ban members of the community.