In our world at Turn The Page, the annual Google I/O conference is headlining news. We’re following the announcements and preparing for big changes. Google I/O began on Wednesday in San Francisco. The three day conference for software developers features the newest software for Android phones, updated apps, user experience improvements, and much, much more.
I tuned into the keynote for the news about Google+ updates. Let me tell you; they are making some major improvements and changes. I’ll focus on the Google+ changes. Check back here for information about other big announcements.
Major Google+ Changes Announced
Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President, Engineering for Google, announced they were rolling out 41 changes to Google+. To simplify this for us at the keynote, he went through three big changes.
Google+ now has a multi-column design. Gone is the flat, single column screen we are used to. This new design is dynamic, changing from 1 to 3 columns depending on the size of your screen. This means you’ll see more stories across the page, and they’ll fit well. This means that your cousin’s panoramic snapshot of the coast will span the entire screen rather than be squashed to fit in one column.
The multi-column design does more than look pretty. The menus and share box move and slide. New cards flip and fade, letting you see related info about a certain story.
The new related hashtags feature lets you explore a certain topic. Click on the hashtag to reveal a card with more stories with the same tag or related information.
Gundotra stressed the company’s philosophy on technology. He said that Google wants people to use technology to do what they do best: live, learn, and love. Instead of letting computers stop us from relating to people in the real world, Google wants us to focus on hanging out.
Gundotra shared the new stand alone hangouts app. He showed the app’s dynamic yet simple system that shows who is in the conversation and who is reading or sending a message. You can easily switch to group video chat, send pictures, video or text. And, you have the ability to save these conversations as long as you’d like.
Gundotra then presented a load of updates to Google+ Photos. Noting that taking, storing, enhancing, and sharing photographs takes a good chunk of time, he set us up for several time-saving features.
Google already backs up your photos, but now they will also enhance and “awesome” your photos. Google will examine all of your photos and pick the best ones based on a number of criteria. Then, all photos will be auto enhanced. They will even find pictures taken in “burst” mode or very close together and create a GIF-like file for you. This software is appropriately called “awesome”.
Stay tuned for more Google I/O news. We’re excited about the changes and improvements- We’ll keep you updated on how the changes will affect online marketing for local business.