Google Unveils New Google+ Apps for Android, iPhone

The updated versions of Google+ give members more options and flexibility when using the apps on their mobile devices.

Google has released reworked versions of its Google+ apps for Android and iPhone users, adding several improved features for photos, posts, user profiles and user communities.

Amar Gandhi, director of product management for Google+, announced the upgrades in a March 25 post on the Google+ Project Blog. The new iPhone edition is version 4.3, while the new Android edition is version 3.6.

Highlighting the iPhone app improvements are photo-enhancement features from Snapseed, which will now allow users to perform basic edits such as rotating and cropping images, as well as using photo filters on their images before sharing their images with others, wrote Gandhi. Users will also now be able to use the features to adjust the saturation, contrast, brightness and other elements of their photographs, all while using Google+. In addition, members will be able to compare their changes to the original images before saving their changes by tapping once on the image.

"Today's release just brings the Snapseed basics inside the Google+ iPhone app," Gandhi wrote.

Android users are getting improved functionality when it comes to posting their status updates on their Google+ profiles, according to Gandhi.

"Little things mean a lot, especially when it comes to content in the stream, so we've polished lots of corners in today's Android update," he wrote. Users will now be able to include more text up front in their posts, from the original message and from comments from others. Tapping video, photo or link attachments will now take users directly to a watch page, light box or Website.

In addition, image previews won't be cropped too often anymore, so user images and other photos will now be shown in full most of the time, Gandhi wrote.

Other changes include more prominent display of key user actions, such as commenting on, "liking" or clicking "+1" on a post, he wrote.

Android users will also now be able to "swipe" through photo albums in line to view images, making the process easier. Also simpler in the new versions of the Google+ apps is the ability for a user to display their current location on their Google+ profile, according to Gandhi.

"You've always been able to list the places you've lived, but now you can display your current location on your Google+ profile. Or not: It's entirely up to you," he wrote. "If you enable this option, you'll then decide who can see your best-available location across Google."

Users can change their preferences at any time to be as public or as private as they want to be, he added. Users who want to use the feature have to turn on "location sharing" in their Google+ settings.