Google Announces Its Own Social Network, 'Google+'
Google today announced a brand new social networking service called Google+, which aims to tie together a number of ways for users to share with small circles of family and/or friends. Google+ includes online elements such as "Circles", "Sparks", and "Hangouts", and other ways to stay in touch. On the mobile side, Google+ offers some key components to make connecting via phone easier. Google concentrated on making it simple to add GPS/location data to every post (if desired, location data can remain private, too) and upload photos instantly in the background to public/private online albums. The mobile component also includes Huddle, a new group messaging tool that is meant to help small groups coordinate with one another. Google+ is available in the Android Market and will work with Android devices running OS 1.6 and up. Google is also looking to offer an iOS application soon. iPhone users will be able to access a limited version of Google+ via the Safari mobile browser. Google+ is being launched in a limited, invite-only trial. Google hasn't said when the service will expand to more users.
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Here are some videos that Google posted to help demonstrate how the mobile components of Google+ will all work.
Google Further Automates Photos' Creative Powers
Google is improving its Google Photos service by boosting the product's ability to automatically create and annotate albums. Google says Photos will suggest new albums, featuring the best shots, after events/trips are synced online.
Google's Hangouts App for Android Given New Features
Google today revealed an update to the Hangouts App for Android devices and added a number of new capabilities to its mobile messaging service. Hangouts now makes it easier for people to discover one another thanks to a number searching function.
Google Voice Gains New Lease On Life with Massive Overhaul
Google today introduced a wholly new version of Google Voice for Android, iOS, and the web. The calling, voicemail, and messaging platform has been overhauled from the ground up with a new design, new features, and a fresh commitment from Google to keep the service updated.
Google+ Photos to Go Dark August 1
Google has announced plans to shutter the Google+ Photos app and online service on August 1. Google+ Photos was a part of Google+, the search company's social network.
Google Introduces Google Photos
Google today announced Google Photos, another attempt by the company to help people get a handle on their photos and videos. Google wants Photos to serve as users' central repository for all their photos and videos, make it easy to manage and edit them, and make it easy to share and save the photos that matter.
old recipes, same old result?
Until they bundle some slick new technologies that create new social behaviors while integrating better with users' daily lives, Google stands to be left behind, again, and risk becoming the next RIM.
Time to partner up, Google, and leverage your considerable muscle by getting you and your search users inside the thought bubbles of everyone you can see.