Google+ Android App Updated with New Features and Interface
Just over a month ago, it was announced that Vic Gundotra, the “Father of Google+” was leaving Google after 8 years which led to the rampant speculation that Google would be shuttering its increasingly popular social media platform Google+. Gundotra, in his announcement is quoted saying:
“I have been incredibly fortunate to work with the amazing people of Google. I don’t believe there is a more talented and passionate collection of people anywhere else,” Gundotra wrote in his announcement today. “And I’m overwhelmed when I think about the leadership of Larry Page and what he empowered me to do while at Google. From starting Google I/O, to being responsible for all mobile applications, to creating Google+, none of this would have happened without Larry’s encouragement and support.”
The surprise announcement was also coupled with news of a lack of new leadership for the platform as well as a reshuffling of the team behind Google+ within their Moutainview campus. However, there has been no announcement as of yet for the closure of the platform. CEO Larry Page also offered his well wishes to Gundotra.
“Vic — thank you for a tremendous almost eight years at Google. You cut your teeth on our mobile apps and developer relations, turning our disparate efforts into something great.”
However, as if to put these uncertainties to rest, the Google+ app has been updated on the android platform within the last week. The update started rolling out on Tuesday last week and has finally reached this side of the world as of last Saturday. The update brings with it a slew of new features and an updated, sleek interface which bodes well for the platform.
Android Google+ Updated Interface
It’s been a while since Google+ since it was released in 2011 and its interface was one of the best app interfaces even back then; sleek and light on the processors. This week, the app was updated with a beautiful new interface and bold new colours. The first thing you will realise launching the application is the bold red bar on the top of the screen. The next is the a big circular icon with a pencil on it – the new update button. The old slide in bars on the left and right of the screen are now gone and the previous easy integration into the hangouts app has been removed, making the apps more modular – something Google has been doing with it apps even with Google Drive.
Google+ Features Updated
Google recently introduced the Photos app in an update released sometime after their Google+ event held end of last year with features such as “Auto Awesome”. Now, they’ve gone a step further with their features adding a new “Stories” feature to “Auto Awesome” which groups all your photos in albums to tell “stories”. Also included in this update is the ability to make animated GIFs with your pictures. On top of this, Auto Awesome now does its magic on your videos as well!
With all these features and enhancements coming in to the Google+ app for android, and soon to come to iOS and web, its hard to say that Google is looking at shutting this program down. It maybe looking into expanding it further with more intricate integration at which point Google+ will no longer be a standalone service. On top of that, if this is indeed the first step in Google’s redesign of its apps, it’s hard not to like it with enhanced usability and also more user-friendly and creative integration of their photos and videos services.