Major Google Plus Upgrade - Everything you need to know about this awesome update.


In Short

Google has announced a major upgrade to Google Plus at the Google I/O 2013. With 41 new features, this upgrade is probably the best thing that has happened to Google+ since it's launch. There have been some very major updates alongside smaller updates that you might have miss. So before you get lost or overwhelmed by all the new features, let's take it easy and see exactly what has changed. 

Google plus upgrade, new features breakdown

First Interactions 


When you first login to your upgraded Google plus account, you'll be greeted with a tour of the main new features.
What's new in Google +
If you accidentally clicked away from this tab and want to start over, head over to "Take a tour" at the bottom of the left sidebar.

 New Home Tab and Sidebar


The first thing you'll probably notice is the redesigned sidebar which is now hidden by default and is revealed only after hovering over the Home tab.

Hover over the Home tab

Details popups - Navigate around Google+

The new sidebar is beautiful & clean and is designed to simplify navigation through Google+ even more than before.

New g+ sidebar

New Stream (+ a hidden feature)


One of the most major upgrades in this update is the new designed stream. The stream is awesome. If before this update you felt like your stream was a little messy and unorganized, now things appear in an extremely well organized fashion, and all the hottest updates jump out at you in seconds. It really feels like Google has put lot's of thought into this design, and in ways feels a lot like Google Keep which was announced just a month ago.

New google+ stream

Google keep
Under the More tab, is a feature most people miss - the Stream Layout selection, which again reminds us of Google Kee. You can switch between Grid view and List view.

Google Plus Stream Layout Options

Sharing Posts, Photos & Links


Sharing updates, photos, videos and links is the core of Google Plus. And Google knows that. If people don't share things there is no real purpose in having Google Plus. People will simply navigate away if they don't receive interesting and relevant information. So having that in mind, Google decided to give people a boost in their willingness to share things. The new look of the share window is much more appealing than before. 

By default the new share window has simple grey icons (apart from the text icon), and one you click on the Share what's new text, the share tab expands to the middle of the page and provides more options and buttons.

Share what's new default look
Expanded Share updates tab 

Photos, and Instant Awesome


The Photos feature on Google Plus got a serious revamp and a very cool new feature. 

New Google+ Photos
As before, all your photos are automatically backed up and stored in the cloud. Now you will be able to find your photos much quicker than before. You can select between Highlights, Photos & Albums. Under the More tab you'll find Photo's from Posts, Photos of you & Photos you've sent to the Trash. You can also search for specific photos using the search bar.

New g+ Photos Tab

Photos backed up and organized

The coolest new feature is of course the Auto Awesome feature. Once Auto Awesome detects a set of photos, it will create a new composite photo which will be added to your photos collection. The most interesting feature is the Motion feature, which enables you to create a short animation of the repeating photo sequence. Another great tool Smile - when you have a set of pictures of a group, Auto Awsome will automatically choose the best shots of each person and merge them into one great looking photo. More great features which come with Auto Awesome are HDR image creation, Pano for panorama pictures and Mix which creates a photobooth style grid of picture with similar background elements.
Auto Awesome Feature on google+


Your Profile


We all remember the previous update Google rolled out for the cover photo & profile image. Today, your profile will look even better, and you'll find some very interesting new things. 

New Google+ Profile page

Improve your profile

If your profile is not complete, Google Plus will now prompt you to fill in your missing information. It does this by using simple one colored rectangles, with a link to the specific information you need to complete.

Contact information
Your school
Where do you live?

People & Circles

The People tab has got a redesign and it is now much easier to connect with people. When you enter the people tab you'll immediately find relevant suggestions of people you might know. A very good feature is the automated groups suggestion which appears on the left. Google Plus will automatically suggest groups such as Gmail Contacts, Coworkers, Classmates and also more user specific categories.

You will also find a new search functions to help you find your coworkers, classmates and more.

 Hangouts


As part of Google new launch of the Google Hangout App which replaces what used to be called Google Talk, also comes a replacement to the Google Talk tab in Google +
New Google Hangout
Some of the main features of the new Google Hangouts are:
- You can turn any conversation into a video call with up to 10 people. 
- See when people are typing, or whether they have seen your message.
- Hangouts stay in sync across all your devices, and you get notifications just one. So if you've seen a message on your computer it won't appear as a new message on your android phone.



Google+ Hangouts Tab

What's Hot


The new What's Hot tab is the place where you'll find all the top trending stories on Google+. These top trends are related of course to your interests. You'll also see throughout different pages small tabs with hot trending #Hashtags. You can click on next or previous and the card will flip over to show more hot trends.
What's hot tab
Trending Tabs Hashtags


Events


The events page let's you create an event using Google Calendar. Once an event has been created you can easily collect and share all the photos from that event in one dedicated place. People can also take photos in real time and instantly upload them directly to the event's page.

Google Plus Events

You can also search for public events.

Public Events

Communities


Communities pages also have a new look which enables you to find interesting communities to join in a more simple way than before.

Google Plus Communities

Summary

As said at the beginning of this post, this update has probably been the most impressive and important update to roll out on Google Plus. This upgrade is potentially a game changes when it comes to bringing people on to Google+ instead of other social networks such as facebook. It comes without say that Google has spent a serious amount of time designing and thinking, about what people would like to see & get when they come to Google+.

Hopefully this features breakdown post has helped you get things organized and understand exactly what changes have rolled out in this new Google Plus update (15.5.13). If there is anything we missed, please feel free to let us know in the comment sections and we'll make sure to add it.

And don't forget to share this post.. We have a feeling many people will find it useful.


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