Talking tech since 2003

Google gave us quite a bit to chew on at I/O two weeks ago, but the company especially went all out in the photos department. Google really wants Google+ to be the place you store your photos, and some of the features rolling out in the Google+ for iOS update today will make a strong case for Google+ as your go-to photo app.

First up, the Auto Enhance feature that Google talked about at I/O is now present inside the Google+ app. This automatically touches up your photos and tries to get them looking their best. The Auto Awesome feature is also present. This is the one that automatically combines the best parts of several close-looking shots into one image. It can also create an animation out of five or more photos that you’ve taken in a row, or stitch together several images with overlapping landscapes into a panorama.

Photo organization in the new Google+ for iOS app.
Photo organization in the new Google+ for iOS app.

Next, you’ll be able to browse “Highlights” of your photos. Google has gone through all of your images and picked out the ones it thinks are the best, omitting any of your shots that turned out poor or otherwise don’t look that interesting. If you want to take photos but don’t feel like picking out the best ones yourself, this feature was built for you.

There are some other non-photo-related features that made it into this update, too. For starters, Google Offers will now start popping up in your Google+ stream. The app also features “related hashtags,” similar to the ones on the actual Google+ site. These enable you to click on a hashtag for a post to find other posts on the same topic.

Oh, and do you remember when I complained about the Messenger app still showing up inside Google+? It’s gone, and the built-in Hangouts option redirects you to the separate Hangouts for iOS app. It seems that Google is finally chipping away at all references of its past messaging products.

You can download the newest Google+ for iOS, version 4.4, from the App Store right now.

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