Google+ recently introduced a special Auto Awesome effect that adds animated snowflakes to any of your photos that prominently feature snow. Today Google is making it easier to use the effect with any photo you choose. After installing the latest update for Google+ on Android, you can simply shake your device to add falling snow to any open image — even if there's no snow to be seen in the shot. Shaking a second time will save a copy of the animated GIF for sharing. Google went so far as to produce a video showing off the holiday-themed effect.

Thankfully today's Google+ Android update extends beyond gimmicks. Search results now include posts, people, photos and communities, making it far easier to find whatever you're looking for on Google's social network. Notifications can now be fine tuned so that your phone will only buzz when receiving messages from select contacts. "Notifications from others will now appear in “Everything else,” so you can read them whenever it’s convenient," Google says. And the What's Hot stream has also seen some attention; users can now "go deeper” by exploring content in specific categories like music, science, sports, and photography.