Google+ launches major update for Android, iOS

Google+ Vice President of Engineering Dave Besbris announced Friday a new slate of features for the social network's mobile users.

Android users got extra attention, with the addition of improved notices when friends share updates, as well as the ability to edit profiles from phones. In addition, Google is now letting its Android users access Google+ Communities, a feature it unveiled earlier this month that allows people to create either public or private groups around interests.

Besbris spent the majority of his time focusing on photos. Android users will now be able to upload photos to the social network in full resolution. Previously, Google would crunch photos to fit within a specified resolution and save space. However, Besbris did note that users are limited to 5GB of uploading space.

On the iOS side, Google added many of the same features, including support for Google+ Communities. And here, too, photos are a big deal. Besbris notes in a blog post that the new iOS version of Google+ "lets you swipe through photo albums inline; you can tap once to view photos in all their glory; and the iPhone app now applies a subtle pan-zoom-scale effect to pictures in the stream."

In both iOS and Android, Google+ now lets users send messages to guests through the Events feature, or invite folks to the event via e-mail or IM.

One other addition to Google+: support for Hangouts over a 150KB-or-greater connection -- a move, Besbris says, that will allow users to more easily connect with people "in parts of the world with extremely low bandwidth."

Both the Android and iOS apps are available now in the Google Play marketplace and the App Store, respectively. The apps are available for free.

This article originally appeared on CNET under the headline "Google+ team delivers boatload of updates for mobile users."

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