Over the course of the next few days, a new version of Google+ will be rolling out to Android users. While visually the app won’t look much different than it does today, Google’s Leo Deegan has taken to the community site to let everyone know what to expect. Given he is the lead engineer of G+, he should know.
Though it very closely resembles the current app, this new version is the culmination of a complete rewrite of many core features using Google’s latest Android app infrastructure which will allow our Android team to build new features on a modern tech stack.
During the rewrite, we were able to build in some subtle updates. For instance, stream rendering and scrolling have been improved, the photo lightbox has been redesigned, comment options slide up from a bottom sheet, and grey-spammed comments are now viewable by post authors.
All of these changes point to a smoother experience overall with the community app.
Google+ has a new update rolling out for the community network on both Android and iOS. The update brings a new advanced search function to the apps, much like the search functionality of Google Search itself. In this new update, you will be able to use search operators to do specific searches within Google+
Google has already built a guide for these new search functions on the support site which will outline in detail how they can be used. Some of these new functions include:
- From: To identify a post from a G+ users
- Has: Has an attachment such as an image or Google Doc file
- Before: Before a specific date
- After: After a specific date
- Commenter: Search for a specific commenter on a specific post
As you can see, you can get quite specific in your searching to pinpoint a specific post or person.
The Google+ app for Android has an update rolling out in the Play Store that brings support for Android Oreo’s new Notification Channels feature. The update is version 9.20 for those keeping score. It was released yesterday and should come to everyone who has the app installed over the course of the next few days.
For those who aren’t familiar, Notification Channels are built into apps by developers as a way to allow you greater control over the notifications you see and how you are notified. They bring granularity to notifications and not just a general “on or off” type functionality. That’s an over simplification but you get the idea.
With this update to Google+, you have three channels now available: App Status Updates, New Activity, and Content. You can now customize the notifications for the app to different levels depending on how you set it up. To setup the channels, go to Settings>Notifications then select the Google+ app. There you will see your stock notification settings which you can tap to adjust.
A few weeks ago, Google announced that they would be rolling out location sharing in Google Maps. The new feature will allow you to share your location with friends and family for a set period of time and it will work across Android and iOS devices. As a part of that effort, it appears the company is starting to shut down location sharing within Google+.
Google+ has had the ability to share your location for a long while but if you attempt to use it now, you are greeted with a splash page indicating that the feature is moving to Maps. The tricky bit is that it hasn’t fully rolled out to Google Maps yet either.
In the latest update to the Google+ app for Android, Google has quietly removed the menu link to Google Spaces. It could be the first indicator that the carcass of yet another social networking attempt by Google is about to be thrown on the pile. And frankly, it wouldn’t be all that shocking. The change can be found in the 9.6.0 build of Google+ for Android and if you open up the menu using the hamburger menu or a swipe from the left side of your screen, you’ll see that there is no link to Spaces.
The idea behind Spaces was never fully articulated. It was somewhat like Circles in the original Google+ but it was also aimed to allow you to create a “space”, invite friends so that you could discuss the space’s defined topic. You could also share videos, images, texts and other media. In theory, a pretty cool idea but Spaces never really took off.