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Google adds Instagram-style photo filters to iPhone, not Android

Google+ app users can now also use animated GIFs as profile images
Tue Mar 26 2013, 12:38
google plus app

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google has added Instagram-like photo filters to the Google+ app for iOS, but didn't do the same for the app on its own Android mobile operating system.

The update allows iPhone users that use Google's social network - and we assume there aren't many - to make their photographs look much prettier before posting them.

"Starting today, we're adding some of Snapseed's award-winning photo enhancements to the Google Plus iPhone app," Google+ director of product management Amar Gandhi said in a blog post. "So now, when you're sharing a photo, you can do basic edits like rotate and crop, as well as select filters."

Other features of the updated iPhone app include the ability to adjust saturation, contrast and brightness by sliding your fingers up and down then left and right, as well as the option to single tap at any time to compare your edited photo with the original.

Here's our small test of the new feature.

Google plus iphone app update brings photo filter enhancements

Google snapped up Instagram rival Snapseed back in September when it acquired the German photography firm Nik Software. It seems it has now made the app's features native in the Google+ app for iPhone.

However, the feature doesn't exist natively in the Google+ app for Android. We've contacted Google to ask why, but perhaps the feature has been rolled out to Apple users first to generate more interest in Google's social network on iOS.

Nevertheless, the firm has updated its Google+ app for Android too, just without the photo filtering features, introducing the ability for users to display their current locations on their Google+ profiles.

"When someone with permission visits your profile, for example, they'll see your current whereabouts underneath your name," Gandhi explained.

To try out the new feature, users need to access their Google+ settings via a PC desktop or Android device and turn on Location Sharing.

The update also brings community management, which was previously only available on the desktop version of Google+, to Android and iPhone apps. This feature means you can now adjust the volume of community posts in your Home stream, invite people to a community, reshare items with a community and search members within the app.

Along with the updated app, Google also announced that Google+ users can now change their profile pictures to animated GIFs instead of just still images. Google's photo and events lead, Matt Steiner announced the news on his Google+ web page, saying that it will animate on the profile page on both desktop and mobile versions of the social network.

Due to the comments received below, we would like to make clear that the photo filter features are not present natively in the Android app, so taking images while in the Google Plus app do not have the feature as is in iPhone app. However, the filters are available for Android users in the OS' camera app, so users would need to take an image in that first and then upload it in Google Plus to take advantage of them. µ


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