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Google+ Android and iOS apps get raft of new features

Google is rolling out a number of enhancements to its Google+ social network as holiday fever well and truly sets in.

The revamp gives a boost to the Google+ Android and iOS apps, adding new photo, event planning, and Hangouts features.

On Android, the search giant added on-the-go profile editing, an easier way to author content, and a new alert when friends have posted new content.

"You can also subscribe to mobile notifications from your favourite circles and interact with Google+ Communities on your phone or tablet," Google said in a blog post.

The biggest overhaul focuses on photos, though. Google will now offer up to 5GB of full-size photo backups. The search giant already allows for unlimited storage of standard-sized pics up to 2,048 pixels. To try the new photo option, "turn on Instant Upload and start taking pictures: photos you shoot will be saved to a private album on Google+."

Those with a device running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, meanwhile, will also be able to create 360 degree panoramas. In fact, they will be viewable on any Android device running Froyo and above.

The Android app will also get animated GIFs, birthday reminders in Google Now, and a lock screen widget, the Internet behemoth added.

Those with an iOS device will also enjoy a number of new features, like the ability to swipe through photos.

"You can tap once to view photos in all their glory; and the iPhone app now applies a subtle pan-zoom-scale effect to pictures in the stream," Google said.

Google promised further iOS boosts like "longer snippets to bigger photos to comments that slide in beneath each post."

The search giant has also enhanced the Events experience, adding the ability to send messages to specific guests to view when they've read the invite.

For a very 21st century party, you can catch up with friends over Hangouts on-the-go, with Google saying that it will now allow for these video chats over a very low bandwidth.

"Once enabled, you'll only need about 150 KB of bandwidth to be in a hangout," the company said.

Those who will be broadcasting to a larger audience via Hangouts On Air can now hide attendees at the bottom of the screen for a full-screen hangout.