Google+ iOS app gains Auto Awesome boost

Google has rolled out an update to its Google+ iOS app, which focuses on keeping Google+ images organised and looking good.

In a blog post, Google's Frank Petterson tipped functions like Auto Backup, Highlight, Enhance, and Awesome, as well as related hashtags, comment editing, and mobile profile editing.

Users can enable Google+ to automatically upload photos and videos onto the site. That allows for an unlimited number of tablet-resolution images (2,048 pixels) for free; tap into your 15GB of free Google Drive storage to back up full-resolution photos.

Sift through your growing library using the Highlights tab, which helps find photos by automatically curating uploaded images.

Like any good photo editor, Google+ allows quick and easy editing with the Auto Enhance — accentuate the positive, and eliminate the negative, then just undo it if you don't like the final product.

The most notable change, though, is called Awesome. Auto Awesome is a new tool that adds a little extra fun to photos. Create composite HDR (High Dynamic Range) images or add motion with a series of five or more pictures. Group photos just got a little easier: Auto Awesome chooses the best shots of each person, then merges them into one photo.

The feature can also stitch together a series of images to create a panorama, or compile various pictures together in a photobooth-style grid, showcasing photos with similar backgrounds.

All new functions can be toggled on or off via the Settings menu.

There's more to version 4.4, though, than unique photography options. iPhone and iPad owners can now search hashtags, edit more profile fields, upload a new cover photo, control the What's Hot stream, edit comments, copy a post's permalink, and even add strikethrough text. Meanwhile, messaging and video calls can be made in a now-separate Hangouts app.

Google+ got a major makeover during the search giant's I/O conference, when Google added 41 new features. That included new design elements, Hangout features, photo-editing tools, and expanded free storage. Last week, Google launched update number 42 - a new Android app - and the iOS update makes this number 43.

The new Google+ iOS app, which requires iOS 6, is currently available for download in the Apple iTunes Store.