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Summary:

Google+ has released a big update to its Photos platform, offering highlight reels of big events and vacations.

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When it comes to organizing and managing photos, Google+ is still an underrated tool, particularly for its ability to  automatically edit photos for easy sharing. Those features have become more refined with Google Stories, a new photo feature announced Tuesday on the Google Blog.

Available this week, Android users with Google+ installed can access Stories by uploading their photos to Google+ or enabling the system’s Auto Backup feature. Google+ recognizes and groups photos together by their metadata, automatically selecting the best photos and ordering them into an album. From there, users can edit and add captions. Stories will also pull in any other data about the trip or event, including the names of cities and places visited. Google says that Stories are available within 24 hours of production, and can be shared publicly to anyone.

Google Stories

iOS users will get the same features in a later rollout.

This update is a logical progression from the platform’s last big update in October, which introduced the automatic photo and video highlight reel Auto Awesome Movies. Stories are a bigger production — clicking into one is an immersive HTML 5 experience rather than a simple YouTube video — and incorporate even more data. Photo management is arguably Google+’s sweet spot, and features like these keep the platform differentiated from sites like Dropbox or Facebook.

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  1. Nicholas Paredes Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    The ability to create contextual stories from groups of photos is really interesting. Having built photo features in apps for a photo retailer, many simply look at features such as libraries and the resultant printed products. The service can be the product as well. The experience is critical to delving into photos from the past.

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