Google+, Google Keyboard Android app updates rolling outAlex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
It looks like the app update bug has bitten Google this week. The company has already rolled out a standalone Android Device Manager app, updated its Gmail for Android app and announced that desktop Gmail will now display images by default and that its mobile apps will do the same in early 2014. Now the company has started pushing updates for two more of its Android apps.
First up, Google's own Vic Gundotra and Jonathan Terleski have revealed a significant update to the Google+ for Android app. The update brings the app up to version 4.2.4 and, in addition to some unspecific bug fixes and performance improvements, it includes several new features for Plussers to play with. They include:
- Ability to search for posts, people, photos and communities from a single search box
- Control over which people will buzz a user's phone in the "Who can notify me" settings. People not included in that list will appear in the "Everything else" section.
- What's Hot stream contains different categories, such as Sports and Music, that users can dive deeper into
- Users can shake their device while viewing a photo to add AutoAwesome snow, then shake it again to save the snow-filled image
The second Google app to get a late week update is the Google Keyboard. This one includes some bug fixes and stability improvements, but perhaps more importantly, the update also allows users to switch the keyboard's color scheme. After installing the newest version of Google Keyboard, users will be able to choose between a KitKat-like white theme or a blue look that's reminiscent of Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean.
Both sound like nice little updates for users of the Google+ and Google Keyboard apps. Not only are there some legit improvements like bug fixes, performance improvements and new features, but Google has also thrown in some more "fun" tweaks like Google+'s snow and Google Keyboard's theme selections. As with most software updates, these will likely take some time to roll out to everyone, so be sure to keep an eye on the "My Apps" section of your Play Store app in the coming days. Don't forget to check in with us once you've updated and share your snowy G+ photos or your Google Keyboard color of choice!