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. 

Social Media

YouTube offers creators more ways to boost their bank accounts

Whether you're a top YouTube creator or just breaking into the game, the video-streaming site has some new features designed to help you please your fans and increase your bank balance.
How-To

Stop Facebook from tracking you and using targeted ads with these tips

Facebook and businesses that use the site track what pages you like, your political affiliation, and even try to guess your race. All of this is done so the site can target you with relevant ads. Here's how to opt out.
News

President Trump attacks Facebook Libra, says it’s not dependable like the dollar

President Trump attacked Facebook's new Libra cryptocurrency on Thursday, claiming it will have "little standing or dependability" and that Facebook would need to seek a banking charter if it wanted to move forward.
Social Media

The FTC will hit Facebook with a $5 billion fine over privacy violations

Facebook has agreed to a $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its numerous “privacy missteps." Once it goes through, this would be the largest FTC fine for a major technology company – and a huge chunk of…
News

Lua uses animated emotions to help you keep your plants happy and healthy

The Lua Smart Planter is currently seeking funding on Indiegogo to make this smiling plant pot a reality. The device helps you take care of your plants by showing their needs through a series of animated faces.
Mobile

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.
News

Facebook says it won’t launch Libra until regulators are happy

Facebook says it won’t roll out its Libra cryptocurrency until it’s fully addressed regulatory concerns – though it added that regulation of the currency itself would largely happen in Switzerland, not the U.S.
Social Media

Twitter’s mobile-inspired dark mode desktop makeover isn’t just about looks

Twitter.com may have a new look, but it's one that already feels familiar. The new design for Twitter's desktop version borrows heavily from the platform's mobile apps, with a sleeker look, a new dark mode, and easier navigation.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Twitter’s redesign, Libra’s possible delay, Neuralink

On this episode of DT Live, we take a look at the biggest trending stories in tech, including a Twitter redesign, Facebook's delay of Libra, Neuralink's first public event, growing food in space, and the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.
News

The U.S. Senate really doesn’t like Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency plans

Facebook Libra had its first big regulatory test when Calibra head David Marcus appeared before the Senate Banking Committee. It didn’t go well. Senators of both parties had major concerns about Facebook's proposed cryptocurrency.
Social Media

Instagram is crashing repeatedly for some users. Here’s the latest on the outage

Thousands of Instagram users said Tuesday that the social media app was repeatedly crashing or not opening at all, the third time in just over a month that the social network has experienced issues.
Web

Dirty deeds are uncovered dirt cheap with these online background check resources

There are plenty of reasons for carrying out a background check, and not all of them are creepy. Here are several methods to run a background check on someone online, whether you need to vet a potential hire or a new babysitter.
Social Media

Study suggests using emojis makes you appear more friendly — even at work

Can emojis be a clue into your personality? A recent survey suggests that emojis make a person seem friendlier and more approachable, even when used within a professional work environment.
News

FaceApp says it won’t hold on to your face photos. Should you trust it?

If you use FaceApp, you've given its parent company permission to use your face photos for pretty much anything -- even though the app-maker says it won't use them for nefarious purposes or sell them to a third party.