Google+ photo editor boosted with HDR and zoom tools

Google+ may still be lagging way behind Facebook and Twitter in the social media stakes, but the company continues to build in new features that take the platform beyond simply sharing links and status updates. With its auto-backup features and Android/iOS apps, Google+ Photos is an important part of the service, and Google has just added a couple of extra tools to the mix.

Googler André Meyer announced the new features in a Google+ post. First up is HDR Scape, already available in Google’s mobile Snapseed apps, which enables you to cycle through a choice of high dynamic range effects by clicking through thumbnails on screen. You can adjust the strength, brightness and saturation of the effect using the sliders underneath.

The zoom controls in Google+ Photos have also been improved: you can now use the magnifying glass tool at the top of the edit screen to get a closer look at your pictures and pan across each image. “Seeing your images up close is an important part of the editing process — from checking the focus point, to seeing how the Drama filter has changed your pixels,” says Meyer.

The new features are rolling out to all users across Google+ over the weekend — you can get at them by following the Photos link from the navigation pane, opening up one of your images and clicking on the Edit button at the top. You can expect to see plenty more new features introduced in the future as Google looks to encourage users into its Web apps and online ecosystem.

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