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Update: The new version of the Google+ app is now live on Google Play. Go get it!

Google's been on a roll with software and feature updates this past week or so. And so when Google social boss Vic Gundotra remarked that he "couldn't sleep" last night, we suspected there might be big Google+ news coming today. And it seems that's exactly what we're getting, as Google prepares to roll out version 3.3 of Google+ for Android, along with updates for the web version. Highlights in this release include new photo features, including better Photo sphere support, and integration with the newly-launched G+ Communities feature.

The new Google+ app will land later today, along with new features for the desktop version of Google's social network. Here's what we can expect from the new app --

  • New photo stuff -- Instant upload now offers up to 5GB of  full-sized photo backups. Photo sphere panoramas recorded on Android 4.2 can be viewed on devices running Android 2.2 or higher.
  • Events and communities -- Communities support for the mobile app. And it's now possible to send messages to individual event guests and see who's opened invitations.
  • Hangouts -- Now only 150kb of bandwidth is required to participate in a hangout.
  • General improvements -- The ability to edit your profile on-the-go, new "subtle" notices when new posts arrive, and improvements to the posting menu. 
  • Google Now integration -- Birthday notifications through cards on Google Now, including G+ links to wish the person a happy birthday.
  • Other goodies -- Animated GIF support and a lock screen widget for Android 4.2. Also, new "mood" posts based around a gallery of emoticons.

Several other updates for the web version of Google+ are expected to be rolled out today too, including improvements to solo broadcasts via Hangouts on Air, the ability to easily create duplicate events and easier RSVPing. You'll find more details over at Google's full feature breakdown, linked below.

We'll keep you posted with further details when the app update drops later today.

Source: Google

 
There are 34 comments

unccmyway says:

they need to change the god-awful new widget!

still1 says:

ha!!! the current widget is the best looking according to me.
I guess we cant make everyone happy.

hippocat says:

This is exactly what I came here to say; the widget is complete garbage. Nearly every post in my feed does not have a high definition picture and looks like crap in the widget. Post with no pictures look especially bad. In addition, why am I limited ot reading posts in one direction?

IMO ever since the new widget the quality of messenger has been going downhill as well. My friends and I are all having the same issues: Messages just wont send even though connection is fine, messages will sometimes come in hours later, if you attach an image it looks fine within the feed but then when you click on it the photo viewer crops off the sides of the pictures. Really hope fixes to these problems are hidden within this update.

OhhhSnapSir says:

What is this "desktop version of Google's social network" that is mentioned?

Alex Dobie says:

The one you use via the web.

His statement.
^Your head.

tdesai4 says:

sounds great...now if I could only get my friends to use Google+

S_C_B says:

Ugh! I have to wait until I get off work to switch to my N4. I'm using my 4s today. At least I have some good Google Maps to keep me company.

No mention of Communities integration?

mmark27 says:

See bullet #2.

Thanks.

Not sure what I was looking at, but now see apparently what I wasn't.

I had a dream last night that Google+ was going to have a major update.... ah!

slider999 says:

Can't wait for this update :D

mmark27 says:

How about tagging of photos from the mobile app? Any news on that?! How about sending photos directly to albums instead of just a general posts album? Am I missing out on how to do these things already?

WeGlobal says:

Yeah, when are the communities going to be intergrated into the G+ app? It sucks viewing the communities through the full web version on a cell phone.

bryanw504 says:

see bullet point #2

Mobius360 says:

Nice and just as I'm getting back into G+.

bdbplatano says:

Is it just me or do pictures on posts and messenger look hideous when viewed on mobile? I hope they've improved that

Numbuh101 says:

New icon, wow

JwK_ says:

I use the G+ messenger feature a lot, and it's been really buggy as of late. They need to shape it up. :/

DaTommy123 says:

i personally prefer an android update to 4.2.2
the bugs kill my Gnexus and nexus 7.
do your homework, google.

rfmike says:

YES, BUT there DOES need to be NEW WIDGET OPTIONS!!!

I cant wait to give all this a try.

Well the update is in the play store, but it won't let me update. I notice a new icon.

!!!

In the Play Store, even though it says that it installed, press Install and you can get the update.

It is downloading to my phone right now.

edit - I am now running version 3.3.0.40049528

Erckul says:

updating here as well!!! huzzah!!!

Chondog says:

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

If Google+ gets a major update....does anyone care?

gabbott says:

There are a lot of users who use it, enjoy it, and care (myself included). Maybe it's not as popular as another social site but it's far from the "ghost town" that you allude to.

marcus.plans says:

I was hoping it would get a communities update soon.

d.moss says:

i'm all for updates and new features, so kudos to el goog.. but that black background for the new action bar is terrible. it messes up the continuity of the app.. you have all this gray and white that has become the theme of Google services, then you smack this black bar across the bottom. it's fugly. why didn't they just go with white or gray and give it some depth? terrible design decision

gabbott says:

I love the new full size pic instant upload feature.

badodds says:

Great, wonderful. But all my friends use that other social network...

John-Smith says:

In the past 4 months or so google really has been on a roll with keeping up with updates to their apps.

All except for google music.. I really wish they can focus on that app and make it work well.

What I want is the syncing issues to be corrected and more than anything else. Be able to transfer M3U playlists to google play music.

misterfan says:

Not just the app but their web player is pretty dated and could use a refresh with some features. Granted in the end it doesn't matter when you push play, but I wouldn't mind some love towards the web app either.

worknman says:

Need to be able to turn off the f**king animated gifs. Also, still can't long-press a post to mute like you could with the old versions.

Sticking with v2.5, which was the last good version before they broke the app.