A String of Enhancements in Hangouts and Photos on Google Plus Rolled Out!

Nov 5, 2013 | 1,476 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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Google has come out with an assortment of improvements in Hangouts and Photos on Google Plus, making messaging, video calling and photo editing much simpler for the users. 

Enhanced Hangouts

Google Hangouts is a platform that brings conversations to life. It facilitates messaging and video conversations among close friends as well as broadcasts. 

Broadcasters are now able to schedule Hangouts On Air and then promote them with a dedicated watch page. Through Control Room they can moderate the conversation with eject and remote mute.

Supporting location sharing and SMS, Hangouts for Android let users send a map of current location, while sending and receiving SMS (vs. switching between apps). Animated GIFs play inline as well.

Video calling experience is much better in both cases. It fixes and enhances webcam lighting automatically, and is now full screen irrespective of the device.

Improvements to app and video calling as well as On Air features are also on the roll. 3

hangout air A String of Enhancements in Hangouts and Photos on Google Plus Rolled Out!dedicated page A String of Enhancements in Hangouts and Photos on Google Plus Rolled Out!control room A String of Enhancements in Hangouts and Photos on Google Plus Rolled Out!

[Caption: From left – Schedule Hangout on Air; Dedicated Watch Page; Moderating Conversation with Control Room]

Improved Photos and Videos

Google Plus can now identify over a thousand different objects – from sunsets to snowmen – one just needs to type the term to find matching items in the library.

Auto Enhance feature automatically improves each photo that is added to Google Plus. The user can dial the enhancements up or down. If one is already processing the images elsewhere, one may opt to exempt an album entirely.

Snapseed, a mobile application of Google, has now been jazzed up with a new filter HDR Scape. The HDR (High Dynamic Range) filter can deliver results with a single tap, spicing up the appearance of landscapes and structures.

Analog Efex Pro has been added to the Nik Collection. A user can reimagine images using classic cameras and processing methods – right from toy and medium format to wet plate and vintage.

Auto Awesome can be enhanced with three new techniques – Action, Eraser and Movie. Action takes a half pipe trick and creates a strobe-effect photograph.  Eraser helps in taking cleaner pictures of landmarks. Often, an image is blocked by people and cars. Eraser takes a sequence of the images and erases the moving objects. Movie produces highlight reels from photos and videos automatically, complete with effects, transitions and soundtrack. The user can customize the editing process at will.

Auto Awesome Movie works on specific devices with Android 4.3+, but the other app features are broadly supported.

 A String of Enhancements in Hangouts and Photos on Google Plus Rolled Out! A String of Enhancements in Hangouts and Photos on Google Plus Rolled Out! A String of Enhancements in Hangouts and Photos on Google Plus Rolled Out!

[Caption: From left – Image without enhancement; Normal Auto Enahance; High Auto Enhance]

Vic Gundotra, a senior vice president with the company stated, “We are doing nothing less than revolutionizing the field of photography.”

Bringing in a spectrum of improvements, Google is making all attempts to lure traffic away from Facebook and other popular online hangouts though they have a long gap to narrow. Google Plus now has 540 million active monthly users, while Facebook has nearly 1.2 billion active users.  Moreover, many of the Google Plus users may just be watching a YouTube video while they are logged in.

That said, the newly introduced improvements are sure to spice up the user experience on Google Plus.

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Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail A String of Enhancements in Hangouts and Photos on Google Plus Rolled Out!
4.thumbnail A String of Enhancements in Hangouts and Photos on Google Plus Rolled Out!