Google Plus

Google+ adds auto enhancement feature for videos

Google+ adds auto enhancement feature for videos

Google Plus's Auto Awesome feature has been improving its users' images for a while now, and we've seen different updates related to it roll out over the months. Back in December of last year, Google added its year-in-review videos, for example, and it now it has added an auto-enhancement feature that improves uploaded videos (if the user wants). The enhancements improve sound quality as well as the footage itself. We have a comparison video showing the enhancements in action after the jump.

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Google+ adds custom gender option to profiles

Google+ adds custom gender option to profiles

If you've been putzing around in Google+'s settings today, you might have noticed some new options under "Gender". Google software engineer Rachael Bennett announced on the company's social site today the arrival of "an infinite number of ways" for users to display their gender identity. Previously those who didn't want to use the "male" or "female" options were only given an "other" selection, but now there are four options, one of which is customizable.

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Google+ is ‘Facebook-lite’ says former Googler

Google+ is ‘Facebook-lite’ says former Googler

“Adrift at sea”. “Facebook-lite”. According to former Googler Chris Medina, that’s exactly what Google+ is. Rather than serving as the “social backbone” it was designed to be, Media thinks Google+ is about as far from that missive as possible. In a recent post on blogging site Medium, Medina took aim at his former company’s “social” platform, calling them out for violating privacy and trust along the way. If you’re wondering what gives Medina pause to take on Plus, it’s easy: he used to work on it.

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Google shuffle: CEO Larry Page transfers product power to Pichai

Google shuffle: CEO Larry Page transfers product power to Pichai

Sundar Pichai has been moving up in the world over the past several years. Word this afternoon is that Google CEO has done some reorganizing of staff duties, putting Pichai in charge of core Google products. While he'd had responsibilities with Android, Chrome, and Google Apps before, Pichai will now take control of search, maps, Google+, commerce and ads, research, and infrastructure. Page has suggested that these powers - until now his - would be transferred so that he might focus on the "bigger picture" - instead of these slightly smaller duties, that is to say.

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Google+ Polls might really be for “their” stream

Google+ Polls might really be for “their” stream

In spite of chatter that Google+ is dead and/or dying, Google hasn’t given up hope on it just yet. The social layer to Google services has a brand new feature today, and one that is clearly meant to entice interaction. After being talked about for some time, polls have made their way to Google+, allowing you to source your followers to help you decide on something, or source info. Like a lot of Google+’s stuff these days, this one has a lot more use for enterprise or marketing than consumers.

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New Gmail users no longer need Google+ account

New Gmail users no longer need Google+ account

Those without a Gmail account (we were surprised they existed, too) will no longer have to join Google+ as a result of signing up. Quietly, Google slipped the once-mandatory Google+ account away from Gmail, leaving those who want email to have that alone. It’s a strange subtraction for Google to make for social, but may be the biggest sign yet they’re not too keen on it lately.

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Google buys polling startup for Google+ integration

Google buys polling startup for Google+ integration

Today, Google is announcing they’ve made another acquisition, this time in a startup named Polar. If you’re unfamiliar, don’t worry — the company focusses on online polls, not an app you’re missing out on. It’s being reported that Polar will be cobbled into Google+, suggesting that Google is, at least in some respect, forging ahead with its social layer.

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Keeping your photos – explicit or not – safe from the cloud

Keeping your photos – explicit or not – safe from the cloud

This week a leak of explicit celebrity photos has summoned the need for additional security measures. Not just the kind of security measures you take by purchasing "keep me private" apps and the like, but the kind that includes common sense and the flipping of a few key switches in your phone. As it turns out - you CAN take whatever photos you like without having them leaked to the public.

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Cirqle: social networking super-simplified

Cirqle: social networking super-simplified

The launch of the app Cirqle symbolizes our wish to move away from the complicated mess present in social networks of the past. In Cirqle, made for iOS first, we’re seeing the likes of Instagram, Twitter, and Google+ turned into one extremely simple app. It’s photo sharing made just about as tiny as it can be.

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