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What you need to know about Google Drive’s ‘Photos’ backup

What you need to know about Google Drive’s ‘Photos’ backup

Not long ago, Google blogged that Drive would now serve as an automatic backup point for your photos. While the announcement was welcome, the service wasn’t quite ready for primetime, leaving the new ‘Google Photos’ tab in Drive dormant. Users are starting to see auto backup pop up for both Android and iOS, but there are some interesting wrinkles some may not have considered. Rather than let you figure it out on your own (and maybe delete pics accidentally), we’ll go over what’s what with Drive’s automatic backup.

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Google+ is being dismantled, and that’s a good thing

Google+ is being dismantled, and that’s a good thing

In a recent chat with Forbes, Google’s Sundar Pichai turned a few heads by noting Google+ would be considered as parts — not the sum of those parts. Rather than a social network, Plus would be a stream. And Photos. And Communications. Adding a bit of fuel to the fire was the subsequent dismissal/resignation of Dave Besbris as the head of Google+. Besbris took over for Vic Gundotra, who spearheaded Plus from inception. With a new boss in Bradley Horowitz, the circumstance around Plus might sound confusing. That’s because they kind of are.

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New Google+ boss confirms Photos, Streams split

New Google+ boss confirms Photos, Streams split

Google really has some trouble putting Google+ in its proper place, or at least helping the public understand what it's all about. The much maligned social network, if you still could call it that, has weathered problem after problem but now it seems that the status quo isn't going to last anymore. Brad Horowitz, who will be standing at the helm of Google+, has just confirmed speculation that the service will soon be split up into a more photo-centric product called Photos and the traditional social feed called Streams.

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Google may have foodie social site named ‘Tablescape’ in the works

Google may have foodie social site named ‘Tablescape’ in the works

It’s either a brilliant idea, or a really misguided attempt at social — it’s hard to say right now. According to a new report, Google is once again making an attempt at social, and is focussing on hitting us where it matters. Tablescape is a new project by Google, and is taking a social look at food. Rather than a wide open forum as most social sites are, Tablescape would be entirely focussed on food, and people who photograph their food.

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Google buys offline photo-sharing app Odysee

Google buys offline photo-sharing app Odysee

Detractors of Google’s social layer, Google+, can agree that its one redeeming quality is photo storage and sharing, where Google has done an incredibly good job of making sure your media looks good, and is easily accessible. To that point, Google has acquired Odysee, an iOS and Android app that has some interesting features for private photo sharing. The team at Odysee, in announcing the acquisition, also say they’re joining the Google+ team.

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Google+ for iOS brings new sharing option, HD

Google+ for iOS brings new sharing option, HD

Google’s own social network, Google+, has been updated for iOS users. The new-look social app brings in a higher resolution to better support the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as well as some updated (and much needed) sharing options. The sharing is interesting because it adapts a very Android-y feature found in iOS 8, giving you the ability to add Google+ to your sharing options. Google+ users on iOS will also get the ability to vote on polls.

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Google+ can now automatically fix up your videos

Google+ can now automatically fix up your videos

Recording videos from our mobile devices is easy peasy, thanks to developments in camera sensors and photography apps. But no matter our best efforts and best technology, we sometimes still end up with blurry shots, shaky frames, washed out colors, and dark results. If that is usually your case, Google+ is now providing a one-click solution called Auto Enhance that will, as the name says, try to touch up your recorded video to make them look and sound better than ever before.

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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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