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Google+ for Android and iOS updated with support for new community feature, better photo experience

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Google Plus Android
Google Plus Android

Google has just announced a variety of tweaks and updates to improve the Google+ experience, particularly for Android users. Probably the biggest new addition is full-size photo uploads — now, if you have the Instant Upload feature turned on, up to 5GB of full-size images can be privately uploaded to your Google+ account to share later. Google has also added increased support for its new Photo Sphere technology. You'll still need to use Android 4.2 to actually shoot Photo Spheres, but once they've been shared to Google+, any user running Froyo or later will be able to see the homemade 360-view images.

Android users can also now interact with the new Google+ communities that launched last week, and users can sign up for mobile notifications from specific circles as well. The interest-based community concept has been one of Google+'s main attractions and differentiators from other social networks, so we're not surprised to see Google move that experience to its mobile platform. Smaller additions for Android users include support for emoticons and GIFs, birthday reminders in Google Now, the ability to edit your profile, and a new lock screen widget.

There were also a few additions for all users to enjoy — Google has improved the efficiency of its video hangout feature, claiming that users will now only need about 150KB of bandwidth to participate in a hangout. There are also some tweaks to Google+ events, including the ability to see who exactly has opened your invite and an option to easily duplicate an event. Overall, there's no real "killer" feature being added, but it's a nice set of refinements to Google's social network. Unfortunately, it sounds like iOS users won't be getting these updates any time soon, as Google didn't mention any changes to its app for Apple's mobile platform. The updated Android app is available in the Play Store now, and the web features will be rolling out over the next day or so.

Update: Google also revealed a few new features that are coming to the iOS version of Google+. iOS users will have an improved photo viewing experience and new conversation cards aimed to highlight content that you share. Google also added the community support and circle subscriptions featured in the Android app, as well as updated the iOS app's aesthetics to more closely match the Android version. The updated Google+ app for iOS should be available in the iTunes App Store now.

Thanks, tranceformer978!