All the Google+ updates that got buried in the Google I/O hardware hype yesterday

google plus udpatesIf you got swept up in the hardware bonanza of Google I/O yesterday, you’re not alone. But it turns out Google also revealed a long list of software and app updates, included a lengthy list of changes for its fledgling and struggling social network Google+.

Google brought our attention to the Google+ tablet app as well as Google+ Events, a big update that is full of fun features like cinemagraphs, event invites, slideshows… you name it. But there are a couple other social elements Google will introduce that didn’t get as much spotlight.

Messaging unification

For starters, Google’s going to start unifying its various real time messaging clients. According to Gigaom, Google says Hangouts, Google Talk, and the G+ Messenger will be combined into one multipurpose messaging solution. For anyone who’s been signed into Gmail and chatting with another Google user only to open up G+ and find themselves have the same, identical conversation in another screen, you know how mildly annoying the real time talk options can get. It makes using Gmail and G+ at the same time obnoxious, and Google needs to be doing everything it can to keep us using the latter of these two, not pushing us away. It’s time to cut out some of this overlap.

The solution will be one chat product that provides us with the ability to chat, host private video calls, or launch group sessions.

Google+ history

Moving on. Google tells VentureBeat that it will also introduce a feature called Google+ History. “This new API will let you add past statuses, updates, purchases, pictures, and more to you [sic] personal Google+ timeline from a variety of social and mobile services. These objects are displayed in pretty tiles called ‘moments.’”  Right off the bat, we can assume that Facebook won’t be one of the cooperating third party social sites allowing Google+ to import information. These two have notoriously refused to play nice, and while Facebook is more than happy to act as platform for all your outside social activity, it has no intentions of parting with your data (unless you choose to export and download all that data yourself, that is. So I suppose you could manually log all that info into Google+ if you’re the one person in the world that cares that much).

google+ history APIWhile you can count Facebook out, Twitter and Foursquare are reportedly on board.  The idea, obviously, is to motivate people to invest more in their Google+ profile.

Hangouts updates

Lastly, there are a handful of new apps for Hangouts built by outside developers. Symphonical is a business tool for Hangouts, and Panoramio challenges users in a Hangout to find where a picture was taken.

Will the changes spur be enough of a pick-me-up for Google+? The site still has a long way to go, but I can think of one ploy that would certainly drive an audience: mass release Google Glasses and make sharing compatible only with G+. Problem solved. I take credit, check, or cash, Google. 

Product Review

Mediocre battery and a big notch slight Google's otherwise perfect Pixel phone

Google’s Pixel 3 XL has two big flaws: The gigantic notch on the front, and mediocre battery life. That being said, this is the best Android experience you can find in a smartphone today.
Product Review

Google’s Pixel 3 is a hair away from pocket-sized perfection

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is the best Android phone you can buy. It doesn’t have the best looks or the best hardware, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better software and unique A.I. functionalities.
Product Review

Hotter than a Dot? Google's Home Mini outsmarts, doesn't outperform Amazon rival

With voice match and improved artificial intelligence capabilities, the $49 Google Home Mini is a voice assistant that seamlessly puts the Google platform on the tip of your tongue.
Computing

How to recover Google contacts

If you accidentally deleted an important person from your Google Contacts, they might not be lost forever. Recovering them is a fairly easy process -- as long as you do it quickly. Here's how.
Social Media

3D Facebook photos jump out of the newsfeed, no glasses needed

You're not seeing things -- that photo in your Facebook newsfeed is 3D. Launching today, 3D Facebook Photos use the depth maps from dual-lens smartphones to add dimension to an image as you move your phone.
Social Media

Instagram is testing a new way for you to look through your feed

Instagram is constantly tweaking its app to help give its users the best experience possible, so how do you like the sound of tapping — instead of swiping — to look through your feed?
Computing

Was your Facebook account hacked in the latest breach? Here’s how to find out

Facebook now reports that its latest data breach affected only 30 million users, down from an initial estimate of 50 million accounts. You can also find out if hackers had accessed your account by visiting a dedicated portal.
Mobile

Hinge's new feature wants to know who you've gone out on dates with

With its new "We Met" feature, Hinge wants to learn how your dates are going with matches in its app. That way, it can inject the information into its algorithm to provide future recommendations that better suit its users' preferences.
Social Media

Like a pocketable personal stylist, Pinterest overhauls shopping tools

Pinterest shopping just got a bit better with a trio of updates now rolling out to Pinterest. The first replaces Buyable Pins with Product Pins for more features, including knowing whether or not a product is in stock.
Smart Home

Facebook’s new Portal device can collect your data to target your ads

Facebook confirmed that its new Portal smart displays, designed to enable Messenger-enabled video calls, technically have the capability to gather data on users via the camera and mic onboard.
Social Media

YouTube is back after crashing for users around the world

It's rare to see YouTube suffer serious issues, but the site went down around the world for a period of time on October 16. It's back now, and we can confirm it's loading normally on desktop and mobile.
Social Media

Twitter has sorted out those weird notifications it was sending

Twitter started churning out weird notifications of seemingly nonsensical letters and numbers to many of its users on Tuesday morning. The bizarre incident even prompted Twitter boss Jack Dorsey to get involved.
Photography

Adobe MAX 2018: What it is, why it matters, and what to expect

Each year, Adobe uses its Adobe MAX conference to show off its latest apps, technologies, and tools to help simplify and improve the workflow of creatives the world over. Here's what you should expect from this year's conference.
Home Theater

Facebook might be planning a streaming box for your TV that watches you back

Facebook is reportedly working on a piece of streaming media hardware for your living room with a built-in camera for video calls, something people may not want given the company's recent controversies.