Goodbye Google+ Messenger, hello G+ Photos

You might have noticed a new addition to the application drawer on your Android (provided you have the Google+ app installed) as well as the absence of a long familiar face. You're not seeing things — it's part of the Google+ app update that started rolling out a few days ago.

It seems like most users have the update by now, so they're noticing that the old Google+ Messenger application was removed (the whole service is basically gone, usurped by Hangouts), but it's been replaced by an equally redundant app icon, the G+ Photos app.

We hesitate to call it an app. It's more like a shortcut to the Photos tab inside the Google+ app. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the way the psuedo-gallery-app-thing works or looks, it's just a bit superfluous. It's easy enough to hide with a custom launcher if you just can't deal with it. 

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • It doesn't bother me. Posted via Android Central App
  • +1 Posted from the old Google Nexus 7 via Android Central App
  • I'm glad they removed google+ messenger but I really don't need a shortcut to something inside the g+ app. If the app is well designed, it should not take much to get in and navigate to where the shortcut would take me. It makes me wonder if when they finally combine voice with hangouts, will I still have both apps in my drawer as shortcuts to the same app. Posted via Android Central App
  • +1
  • Eh. I'm lazy. I like it. :-P Posted via Android Central App
  • Hangout is still incomplete.
    we can't see which contacts are online in hangout. :-(
  • +1
  • That is completely the point and very nice feature...
    You get to see whether your contact has seen your message though, forget the old "online/offline" way of thinking.
  • I never thought of it that way... kinda makes sense now.
  • But it's nice to know if someone is available for a hangout video talk... Posted via Android Central App
  • you dont know if their phone is off until you try and call. try and call they will see a missed one a call back. and if you never turn your phone off you need not worry. i have a nex 10 and 4 when i get a hangout request it ring o both even my comp thnk to chromes extensions. no more ar the days of downloading skype or other various video chat services.
  • EXACTLY! Thank you +1.
  • disabled contact icon- offline
    Contact icon enabled- online
  • Do people still not know how to tell whether contacts are online or not?
  • Nothing like a brand new redundant icon to fill the space of the old one.
  • This. HTC ONE ~ Android Central App
  • It was a highly requested feature in G+ feedback.
  • They should return the navigation icon (the blue arrow)
  • Agreed! Posted via Android Central App
  • Agreed. HTC ONE ~ Android Central App
  • I was ready to jump off a building when they took that away. It worked like a champ, bragging point to everyone that didn't have an android. Not having that really grinds my gears.
  • Great. So now instead of having two apps for the same messenger service, I have two apps for viewing my pictures. Weak. Posted via Android Central App
  • I just noticed it before I read this. I opened the G+ Photos app and just looked at my photos. I love the Google cloud! Posted from the old Google Nexus 7 via Android Central App
  • Would have rather had quick access to locations instead.. Posted from my HTC One from the Android Central App
  • +1 Posted via Android Central App
  • I can share pictures using a 10+yr old technology called MMS, how bout that!!! Posted via Android Central App
  • But only the file type and size your carrier allows. Google may do stupid stuff (A LOT OF STUPID STUFF) but at least they treat data like data and let you decide how to use it.
  • Really? You think MMS is a substitute for Google+ photos or other social photo services?
  • Yes, show us how MMS can help you auto backup all of your pictures in full resolution. Posted via Android Central App
  • So my messenger icon/app didn't disappear but if I tap on it it opens the new picture app thingy... Interesting. Posted via Android Central App
  • Try rebooting your phone. That may sort things out. Posted via Android Central App
  • Bear in mind that the new icon isn't for those who already use G+. It's likely a hook for those android users who have yet to set foot in that environment. One more way for them to discover G+.
  • Ha. Never thought about it that way. I'm sure they would be curious and click it. HTC ONE ~ Android Central App
  • Indeed. Posted via Android Central App
  • Dat hi-res screen...
  • Ikr? Posted via Android Central App
  • Still can't update my G+ because of the garbage in the play store app.
  • I'm on newest g+ and have no such icon Posted via Android Central App
  • Anyone know how to organize the photo albums alphabetically? Posted via Android Central App
  • I think it's to attract people to the service. For the normal user who doesn't care about photo backup, they may not even know g+ backs up photos. The users will notice a new photo icon every time they open "gallery" Posted via Android Central App
  • Damn. Posted before reading another post with the same idea. Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm using a galaxy note 2 and don't have this the gallery link yet. Messenger have been gone from the app drawer for quite a while after hangouts was released months ago. For now the samsung gallery is showing all the google+ albums just fine for me.
  • Solved it uninstall g+ ! The web version of g+ is fine for people who barley use g+ anyway, why fill your phone with un-needed apps ? Posted via Android Central App
  • Just because of an icon? A bit overkill. Why not uninstall all apps that have a web version then too?
  • It's built in to nexus devices, I don't mind since I backup my photos and delete them from my device to save memory Posted via Android central app on my LG Google Nexus 4
  • Why did they remove the What's Hot section? It was the only reason I used the app.
  • Still there. Click the circles filter drop list. Splattered for your amusement... via the AC App
  • Is this a prelude to removing the AOSP gallery app?
  • The gallery app already syncs my pics from G+. Why do I need this? When they removed the messenger app, I said to myself "oh, thank God Google has realized we don't need redundant icons" and now they brought this worthless garbage out and forced it into my phone. In all honesty, I would expect some crap like this from Samsung or HTC, but I own a Nexus, and my favorite thing about that is they aren't supposed to shove bloatware onto my what should I call this if it's not bloatware? Yeah, I know I can hide it with a custom launcher. I use Apex, and I do hide the icons I don't want....but I shouldn't have to do that with first party apps!
  • It's "garbage" for you but for me (and I guarantee you many others), the rest of G+ features are "garbage". All I want is an automated upload+storage for my pictures/videos and a decent image editor tool. I don't want to go to G+ and then swipe to open the menu and then press the pictures icon. This is a perfect addition by Google team.
  • Did you guys get the message about pics being uploaded to Drive instead of G+; only using the G+ when sharing pics? Is this new or just the popup message new? Posted via Android Central App
  • You misread it, what that was about is that you now have to option to see photos that you have in Drive seen in G+ photos.
  • OK, I was trying to find the message again but was unable. Thanks for the clarification. Posted via Android Central App
  • All folks still don't have hangouts tho... I send messages and they are never seen, they have to find a way to include hangouts thru the google+ updates
  • Agreed!
  • I think it's great and NOT necessarily redundant. I couldn't care less about all other G+ features but I love the automated cloud picture/video upload and all the picture tools. Basically I use G+ strictly for storing my pictures/videos. So this icon/shortcut makes perfect sense for me.
  • Don't have this on my s4 or nexus 7.i have the new g+ too Posted via Android Central App
  • Not on the HTC One running stock Sense. That's actually a good thing. Posted via Android Central App
  • Don't see the G+ Photo icon on my N4, but visible on my N7.
  • Okay, discovered that Nova automatically listed it in the 'Hidden apps'.
  • I don't see this new icon at all.. and I still have G+ Messenger. In fact, clicking on the G+ Messenger takes me to a screen telling me to install Hangout, which I already have installed. Seems like Google likes to play around with these apps too much for me... but what can I do but deal with it.
  • Nexus 4 ver 4.3 no G+ Photo yet?
  • I also see the Play Store shows the apps that were recently updated. Anyone know what's the time frame for "RECENT". So far the oldest one is about 5 days ago. Posted via Android Central App
  • i dont find it. mine is note2 with 4.1.2 version.
  • If only there was a "Share button" to email or mms pictures without "downloading" it again (once deleted from my local memory)
  • I use g+ photos a lot, I auto backup my photos so I don't have to keep them on my device which has saved me 2 GB already Posted via Android central app on my LG Google Nexus 4
  • Does anyone know how to deactivate the g+photos app as the default gallery? I accidentally enabled this on my moto x and would like to undo it.