Google Overhauls Google+ Hangouts and Photos

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Google has made several updates to Google+ Hangouts and Photos.  The updates help take a lot of the work out of messaging, video calling, and photo editing.

Google+ Hangouts

Hangouts is used for setting up conversations and setting up broadcasts.  Hangouts for Android now supports location sharing and SMS.  You will be able to send a map of your current location (vs. finding and typing an address), and you can send and receive SMS (vs. switching between apps).  Animated GIFs are supported inline now too.  Broadcasters can now schedule Hangouts On Air and promoted them with a dedicated watch page.  Once the page is live, the Control Room lets you moderate the conversation with eject and remote mute.  The service is now full screen across mobile and desktop and webcam lighting is enhanced automatically.

Photos and Video Updates

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Google+ for iOS is soon getting full size backups and background sync.  You can backup photos as you take them.  Google+ can recognize different objects so that you can type what you are looking for like sunsets and snowmen.  The Auto Enhance feature improves each photo you add to Google+ and you can dial the enhancements up or down.  Google is adding Analog Efex Pro to the Nik Collection so that you can reimagine your images using classic cameras and processing methods.

Auto Awesome

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Auto Awesome helps bring your story to life in very creative ways.  Google added three new techniques: Action, Eraser, and Movie.  Action is used for strobe-effect photographs.  Eraser can take a sequence of photos in case cars or people get in the way of your landmark photos so that you can get a cleaner image.  The movie feature produces highlight reels from your photos and videos with effects, transitions, and a soundtrack.

Google also said that 300 million users visit Google+ every month, which is up from 190 million users in May. Users upload 1.5 billion photos to Google+ every week too.

[Source: Google Blog]

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