Code reveals Google+ expecting additions: Questions, Games, Circles, and more

google-plus-mobile-app-logos

Google+1 has arrived. While a great many of us are still crossing our fingers for an invite or trying to find a “proactive” way to get one, there’s been a general consensus that it’s a cool project and very possibly Google’s most successful step into social networking yet. But it’s still not Facebook and if it plans to seriously compete with the site, Google+ has an uphill battle.

Which is why, even before the verdict is completely in on the application, we’re talking about what’s next. Google+ code reveals a few things that are in the works for the platform, as Austrian blogger Florian Rohrweck discovered (Rohrweck also calls out Engadget for grabbing his story without properly crediting its origins).

via Rohrwerk Google+ Questions

Q&A has been an Internet hit recently, with Quora leading the way and Facebook rebooting its Questions platform. Naturally if Google’s giving social a go, it would want to include such a feature. According to Rohrwerk, Google+ Questions is in final testing. An icon for a Questions service has been revealed, although there’s little else known about it thus far.

Our vote: Interesting and fun, but we’re not sure it would be a huge impetus for joining or keeping Google+.

Google+ Games

Last week we reported that a Google job posting revealed the company is looking for someone to head a division called Games at Google. Even more crucial to a competitive social network than a Q&A platform is social gaming, and the code that has surfaced shows Google’s awareness of this. A chess icon may indicate some sort of interactive, social gaming element will be woven into Google+, which is mostly supported by last weeks’ news.

via Rohrwerk Our vote: If Google wants to compete in this arena, a social gaming feature is important.

Shared Circles

It seems like there isn’t a whole lot of certainty to what Shared Circles will be, but it looks like a method to share specified information with your Google+ contacts. You can create certain “circles” of information to share with contacts – basically, as Rohrwerk puts it, this feature would let you create interest groups. It sounds a lot like Facebook’s Groups or Twitter’s lists, and honestly we hope this is one feature that actually sees the light of day. Giving users some way to organize Google+ accounts would make it much more attractive to those that want to use it for more serious networking purposes. It would also let you see what your Circle contacts were doing with your profile – an interesting idea, and makes us think it would be a success based on how many times people fall for the old “Download this app and see who views your Facebook profile!” liner.

Google’s Social Circle is something of a nightmare right now: It’s anything but user-friendly, completely unintuitive, and pretty foreign and pointless for most Google account holders. This would be a necessary upgrade. You wouldn’t have to create your own circles either, instead using someone else’s as a jumping off point.

Our vote: Yes please! Social circles is an eyesore as is, it’s time to give us a way to use our Google contacts more efficiently.

Social search

Thought Google already implemented social search? Think again. It looks like Google+ will take this a step further, and it’s speculated that it means you can use Google+ to search through your various social networking profiles all via Google. If this is so, it sounds like you could use Google+ to search for something you know a friend posted to Twitter and pull it up.

Our vote: Social search already seems to be adequately pulling in our contacts’ Tweets, but it’s not something that would hurt Google+.

Mobile

Google One subscriptions offer more cloud storage for low prices, other perks

Can't get enough storage on Google Drive, Photos, or Gmail? Google One is the new way to boost your cloud storage. But it's not just about more space -- Google One comes with a loads of benefits.
Gaming

Take control of your Xbox with these top-tier Xbox One gamepads

A number of different controllers are available on the Xbox One, from gamepads made by Microsoft, to third-party controllers loaded with special features. Here are the best you can buy.
Computing

Should you OK Google, Hey Siri, or talk to Cortana? Here's the top voice assistant

In this virtual assistant comparison, we examine how they're becoming an important part of our lives. So how do Cortana, Google Assistant, and Siri stack up against one another when it comes to features and voice recognition?
Movies & TV

Study up for season 8 with the best 'Game of Thrones' theories

Season 8 of Game of Thrones is still on the horizon, meaning there's still time to brush up on the best 'Game of Thrones' theories. Whether you're one of the last adherents of the Cleganebowl, or a King Aerys truther, here are our top…
Social Media

Three million people quit Snapchat after the redesign

After a million users signed petitions to get the old Snapchat back, the network's user count is showing the early results of the changes with a three-million-user drop in daily active users.
Social Media

Facebook wants to help you find a mentor with its latest Groups feature

Facebook is designed for connecting to other people -- so why not mentors? Today, Facebook launched a program inside Groups that allows for two users to go through a mentorship program together.
Features

The numbers don’t lie: Facebook is faltering. So what will eventually replace it?

Facebook is faltering, and the data prove it. User growth is slowing, employee outlooks are dipping, and young people are looking elsewhere. But for Facebook to fail, an alternative must arise. Who will it be?
Social Media

Facebook’s less cluttered friend list feeds are no more

Facebook friend feeds created a more curated news feed -- but not anymore. Facebook discontinued the feature, saying it wasn't widely used. The move will help the network focus on improving the news feed, the company says.
Photography

Starting a vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability.
Photography

For Monaris, it’s a photography career launched on an iPhone and Instagram

On Instagram, she's known just as Monaris. But street photographer Paola Franqui has built a following largely with an iPhone and a smile. We sat down with her to talk photography, style, and Instagram, of course.
Mobile

Marco? Polo! Let's explore the app known as the 'video walkie-talkie'

Marco Polo has been dubbed the "video walkie-talkie," but how does the video messaging app stack up against competitors like Snapchat and Instagram? From unique filters to personalized video messages, we explore the Marco Polo app.
Social Media

Kids can now initiate a friend request on Messenger Kids by using a password

Facebook's messaging app for the under-13 crowd required parents, not kids, to initiate the process of adding a friend. Now kids can start the process by using a unique passphrase -- a feature that still requires parental approval.
Photography

The Nixplay Iris might just make digital picture frames cool again

The digital picture frame's popularity has fizzled because of time-consuming updates and low quality -- but can a Wi-Fi connected frame change that? The Nixplay Iris is an 8-inch smart digital picture frame that wireless updates photos.
Social Media

Instagram hackers are changing account info into Russian email addresses

Have you logged in to your Instagram lately? A hack circulating this month has Instagram users locked out of their accounts because a hacker changed all the profile data, according to a report.