There’s a lot happening at Google’s social network, as Senior Vice President Vic Gundotra revealed on the streaming event A Morning With Google+. The focus is clearly on Hangouts, the chat app, and the photo-sharing experience.
Hangouts has got a few new updates, perhaps the biggest of which is the fact that it now integrates with your text messaging. So when you have a contact on your phone with both the Hangouts id as well as the phone number, an SMS will from them now show up in your Hangouts, as will any normal message sent on the instant messenger. It also supports location sharing, which means you can embed maps in a chat. Gundotra also mentioned other features already reported, such as in-line animated GIFs.
Additionally, broadcasters can schedule Hangouts On Air now, and Control Room allows for moderation.
Perhaps most significantly, Google+ will now automatically fix and enhance webcam lighting, which means those dull images from your friends sitting in a dark room will now appear much brighter for video calls.
Left: Before Snapseed HDR Scape. Right: After applying HDR Scape
Such software fixes for images are at the core of the new updates, as Google+ will be leveraging the Snapseed app to enhance your photos quickly and easily. The Auto Enhancer will almost magically tune up your images, and has different settings to let you choose how much you want your pictures fixed.
The coolest technology is the new HDR Scape filter, which brings an HDR effect to your photographs by using just software tweaks. However, Gundotra warned that this won’t work for all images. While landscapes should be fine, portraits of your friends won’t benefit from HDR Scape.
Auto Awesome brings a few cool features already found in other camera software, like taking a sequence of images and removing bad elements, or creating an action trail for photos in motion.
Finally, there’s the new Movie feature that smartly produces a highlight reel of your photos and videos, even putting a cool soundtrack. It’s really easy to edit too, letting you choose which parts you want to keep in and which you want to delete.
There’s also a lot more in the new Google+ update that you can check out in Gundotra’s full presentation.
What do you think of these new updates? Will you share photos using Google+ from now on?
Source: Google Blog