Google+ for Android adds Drive integration, finally drops Messenger

Daniel Bader

August 14, 2013 11:27am

Google+ for Android hasn’t seen a significant update for over a month, but the company is breaking its silence (in a sense) today by bringing five user-requested features to the divisive social network.

First, Messenger is gone, so no more confusion between the built-in messaging service and the better, independent Hangouts client.

Users can also share their location with friends and family — or anyone in a circle, really — at a precise or city-wide level, and can differentiate based on Circles. It’s not a huge change, and we doubt a lot of people use the service, but since Latitude shut down last week this is now Google’s version of Find My Friends.

Perhaps most important in this update is the ability to access Google Drive photos and videos from within Google+, and they’ll be given the Awesome treatment with no user input. This means photos uploaded to Google+ from Drive will be auto-enhanced and perhaps even animated.

Users can also switch between Google accounts more easily, something that was a bit cumbersome in the past. Lastly, Google Apps for Business features are all supported in Google+ now.

No word on when these changes are coming to iOS.

  • ronnnyraygun1

    Google+ Location sharing DOES NOT WORK. At all. Total fail. Life360 and Hemisphere are the new functional alternatives.

    • Josh Brown

      I know bring back latitude or add the same features to Google +

  • jorvay

    Now all we need is for Hangouts to include identification of and sorting by online/offline status and I’ll actually run some of their latest updates.

    • Josh Brown

      I think it is better than talk. I don’t know the fascination if someone is online or not. If you want to say something say it. It shows in each thread if they are online and how far they have read in the conversation. Just my opinion, but I love how it works right now. The only things I want added are SMS and Google Voice integration.

    • jorvay

      Don’t get me wrong, besides the online/offline thing, it’s very nice. But I already have email and text messaging for when I need to send a message to someone. Google Talk was always handy for striking up conversations with friends simply because they are also around (in the virtual sense). I’m talking about the sort of conversation that isn’t worth bugging someone about unless they’ve essentially identified themselves as also being bored and chatty. I guess the real question is why remove such basic and simple functionality that has been around for years?

    • Josh Brown

      I guess I can see your point but who now a days doesn’t have their phones on them all the time I love that you can carry on a conversation for a long time or start a new one on a totally different topic. What they should do is just grey out the picture like they do in the conversations. But it would be hard when it is multiple people in the conversation. I guess they could grey out the corner of the picture for each person that is offline.

    • Josh Brown

      I have a US Number and use GV every time I go to the states and it is awesome. I put $10 on it when I first signed up not realizing you are only charged for International calls, and guess what I still have $10 on it. My hopes are that they intergrate it into the app so that it can be used anywhere. no if only GV would give out Canadian numbers that would be awesome.

    • Josh Brown

      You can use it for inbound if people have unlimited NA calling but not many do. I use Talkatone when I am in Canada.

    • Josh Brown

      You got an Android, right? Just download Talkatone and log in with your account that you have your US number with. The only annoying part is the phone in the notification bar so I don’t leave it running all the time. There is also ads but who cares for a free service. Even call display works with your US number.

    • Josh Brown

      You need NA wide calling to call the US number. Sorry if that was confusing. It is away to use GV with out your US sim card in the phone that is what it does. Until we get Canadian GV numbers it is the only way to use it while in canada.

    • Josh Brown

      Did you get it working yet?

  • neodoru

    how about the other way around, like seeing your g+ photos in the drive, so you can automatically download them on pc?

  • Threecube

    Good to see they removed Messenger from Google+. Hopefully they add SMS support to Hangouts soon and then I will actually use it. BTW, love the new site.