Google+ is getting into the holiday spirit by rolling out all kinds of updates for both its Android and iOS apps. There’s a lot being added, particularly on the Android side—24 “treats” (aka features)—aimed at making sharing and communication on the social networking platform more elegant and fun.
If you’re familiar with the Android app, the added improvements will be a huge step toward pushing the mobile experience forward. Google+ now offers full-size backups of photos (up to 5GB free). Standard-sizes are unlimited up to 2048x, which is convenient for the Instant Upload feature.
In addition, photo spheres are being added to the mobile stream; however, you’ll still need Android 4.2 to be able to create the 360-degree panoramas. Any Android user on Froyo and above can look at spheres uploaded to Google+.
The company is also making event planning easier by allowing users to send messages to specific guests and see who’s opened the invitation. I guess this way you’ll know if someone is lying when they say they didn’t see the note. If you can’t attend an event, and prefer to hangout with friends digitally, Google+ now supports Hangouts in areas of the world where bandwidth is low. “…You only need about 150 KB of bandwidth,” according to Google.
iOS users can now swipe through photo albums inline, and the app supports a pan-zoom-scale effect to pictures in your stream. Additionally, new conversation cards are being added to the iOS edition of Google+ that will allow users to consume longer snippets of info.
Finally, and maybe the most notable, is that Google+ for Android now supports GIFs. Yup, GIFs. That was the word of the year after all, so why not? Both of the updates are rolling out today, so be on the lookout if you’re a heavy Google+ user.