New Google+ Features: Animated GIFs, Photo Grids and More

Google+ has recently announced its latest update, which includes a plethora of new and interesting features. The most interesting ones are photo-related features, which are part of a field Google+ has always devoted a special attention to.

Google Android App1

Google+ is an interesting social network. The social network offers, in my opinion, much more features than its competitors, both in terms of possibilities to create content (the photo features I was mentioning, which are constantly receiving useful improvements), but also in the way users control the way they’re able to share the content they’re creating.

The new additions have been announced in a post on Google+ (where else?) by Dave Besbris, its VP of Engineering. It mainly seeks to engage its Android user base but are relevant to the desktop user too.

The New Features

Without further ado, let’s check out what’s new.

First of all, the Android app has received a full redesign, making it easier to use and more beautiful (although, I must admit, it does take some getting used to) and new navigation menu, so you can find things in an easier fashion. Sharing is also easier, using the pencil button you can see in the image above.

The app menu disappears when scrolling.

Google Android App New Interface

The app also supports very large sizes of photo libraries and allows you to browse your photos and highlights using a newly introduced scroll bar.

Google Scroll Bar1

There are also some cool Auto Awesome related things; namely, Auto Awesome Stories can now create travelogues of the places where you travel.

This is perfect if you’re one of those people that go on a trip, take a million pictures, then leave them lying around on your phone or camera. With this new feature (which, I presume, uses location and date to group pictures, along with Google’s algorithms), your pictures will be grouped in cool stories, as long as you back them up to Google+. If you’re already doing it, you might just have some stories in the app, ready for you.

Auto Awesome Stories

Speaking of Auto Awesome, the Auto Awesome Movies feature is now available on Android, iOS and the web, so if you couldn’t use it until now, you probably can.

There’s also another new photo feature, but we’ll discuss that separately in a second.

Some new things have been added on the strictly social front. Namely, profiles show content views figures on both Android and the web version of the social network.

Animated GIFs and Photobooth-Style Images

As I mentioned earlier, another interesting photo feature has been added; actually, it’s two of them, both found in the same place. You can now create animated GIFs and photobooth-style images in the Google+ Android app. Here’s how you can do this.

Step 1: Start the Google+ Android app and tap the arrow taking you to the navigation menu.

Google Animated Gif Arrow

Step 2: Then, tap Photos at the bottom.

Google Animated Gif Photos

Step 3: Now, tap the + button at the top of the screen.

Google Automated Gif Plus

Step 4: You’ll get a menu where you’ll also find the option to create your own Auto Awesome movie, an option which has been available for  sometime now.

But the new things are under the Motion and Mix buttons.

To create an animated GIF, tap the Motion button. If you want to create a photobooth-style image, tap Mix.

Google Automated Gif Create

Step 5: In both cases, you’ll be able to choose the photos used for your creation. The number differs – for an animated GIF, you can choose between 2 and 50, while the Photobooth-style image requires between 2 and 9. Your creation will be ready quickly and you’ll be able to share it or save it.

An animated GIF could look something like this (the closer the images are in terms of perspective, the better the GIF) – I’ve resized this one, but the real thing turns out bigger.

A photobooth-style image is as follows:


Bottom Line

The latest Google+ update comes with some great new features. More of the same in the next ones, please!

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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