In an effort to bring about changes as requested from the Android community, Google has issued an update this week to the Android version of Google+, complete with a full axing of Google Messenger. While some may hold a torch for said service, it’s been fully translated – transformed, even – into Hangouts, a service that’s essentially the same as Messenger and has been kicking it live since back at Google I/O 2013. This service works with Android, iOS, Chrome OS, and Chrome web browsers for cross-platform text and video chat, as well as media file sharing.
This Google+ update for Android in version 4.1 brings about additional controls for the sharing of location data. You’ll be able to share your location – be it a pinpointed address or city-wide – with associates and friends of yours on a circle-by-circle basis. This means you’ll able to tell the world that you’re in New York City without telling them that you’re actually in a bathroom stall in a business just off 15th street.
Google Drive has now been paired with Google+, allowing users to access photos and videos just as they’re able with mobile-uploaded media. Storing videos and photos in Google Drive with the same account you’re working with on Google+ allows you to go Auto-Awesome, as well. See more on that bit of functionality in our Google+ for Android 4.0 update article from back in May.
“Once you choose to show Drive photos in Google+ they’ll be organized chronologically, easily searchable, and automatically enhanced to look better than ever. You might even see a few of them combined into animations and panoramas thanks to Auto Awesome. You’ll be able to see your Drive photos on the web as well as in the Google+ Android app.” – Vinay Siddavanahalli for Google
You’ll now be able to switch between multiple Google+ accounts just as easy as you’re able in Gmail, erasing the need for signing in and out as you’ve had to with every version of Google+ up until now. Also supported now is Google Apps for Business sharing as well as the ability to see whether someone’s profile is part of your Apps domain in an instant.
This update to Google+ is free, as always, and will be available to all users with Android devices over the course of the week. If you’ve seen the update pushed to your device, please feel free to let us know!