In a recent video Vic Gundotra, of Google, made some very exciting announcements about Google Plus. For starters Vic announced that Google+ has grown to over 540 million active 30 day users, and 300 million active users. These are big numbers. To put them in perspective Twitter has 200 million active users.
Updates to Google Hangouts and HOAs
There are also updates to the Google Hangout app, to Hangouts and to Hangouts on Air (HOA). The mobile app now has a feature to share your location with friends with the click of a button. We can now also share animated gifs in Hangouts, and my personal favorite, SMS intigration! We can now use the Hangouts app to not only chat our Google friends, but also to send SMS text messages. No more switching between apps.
Hangouts on Air now have dedicated landing pages to help you plan, promote and manage your events. There are also new tools available for use within the HOA event such as volume controls and the ability to remove participants as needed.
The Google Hangout now defaults to HD for a great high fidelity experience by default. There are also new auto enhance features for your Hangout such as for lighting. New filters are now available as well like filters to blur the background or filters to put the person in the frame in more focus.
Enhancements to Google Plus Photos
There are new enhancements to help you organize your photos on Google+. There is also an expanded backup feature rolling out for the iOS device as well as new search, enhance and auto highlight features for photos. Google’s new computer vision can now recognize things in photos like sunsets, waterfalls, beaches or objects in your photos. Actually Google announced that they now recognize 1000 new words in photos. For example if you’d like to find a photo of your friend on the beach you can simply search for their name on the beach, and Google can search your untagged photos to find your friend on a beach.
We can now also search our friends photos, as long as they are shared with us. We now also have more control over the auto photo enhance features on Google+. For example there are now low and high settings so that if the effects aren’t strong enough, or are too strong, we can control this.
There are new Snapseed updates as well. Now we have a very advanced, Google says the most advanced, HDR filter available. This new filter uses pixel edge contrast, which is much more complex than other filters currently available. The new HDR filter works best on landscapes or structural photos such as those with buildings or clouds. There is also a new reduced price for their NIC collection, which is now only $149. Plus there’s a new filter for the NIC collection called eFex Pro.
Autoawesome on Google+ Gets More Awesome!
There are now 2 new autoawesome gifts that will be derived from our shots. There is the action sequence, which takes people in motion and stitches together an awesome looking still image with the subject in it multiple times. There is also the eraser effect, which can intelligently remove people that are not the focus of the shot.
Autoawesome is not just for photos anymore! Google has announced, what may be the coolest feature yet, the autoawesome movie. This feature takes your photos, and videos to produce a home movie with built in enhancements like music, image stabilization, trim, edits and a whole lot more. Plus we can set a total length we’d like the resulting movie to be, and the new tools will automatically re-calculate everything to fit that new length. We also have a lot of control over the entire process should we wish to more manually control the results.
Just an incredible number of improvements, announcements and enhancements to the Google+ platform today!