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Summary:

Google released an updated version of its Google+ app for Android devices on Wednesday, adding a handful of useful features. Presence in Messenger, high-resolution photo support, search and the ability to +1 both comments and photos are in the free software — welcome improvements.

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Google released an updated version of its Google+ app for Android devices on Wednesday, adding a handful of useful features. The free software ties into Google’s social network and works on smartphones or tablets running Android version 2.1 or higher. As of time of this writing, that accounts for 97.9 percent of all Android devices that hit Google’s Android Market in the past two weeks.

In addition to Facebook and Twitter, I now use Google+ every day. Some of the new features are ones I use on the desktop web client, and I’ve been frustrated that the full functionality of the service hasn’t been replicated on mobile devices. There’s more feature parity today, at least on Android devices, with these new functions in the mobile app:

  • Ability to search
  • You can +1 photos and comments
  • High resolution photo upload support
  • See if someone’s online and currently typing in Messenger conversations
  • Start Messenger conversations by just entering a phone number
  • Links to posts or profiles can now open inside of the app
  • Instant Upload supports videos again
  • Several stability improvements and bug fixes

I often +1 both photos and comments on the web version, so this feature alone is worth the quick upgrade to me. I don’t use Messenger, but I’m a big fan of presence in messaging apps. And the high-resolution photo support is welcome; you can still configure when photos (or videos) are uploaded based on Wi-Fi or mobile broadband connectivity.

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