A year ago we started a small project called Google+—to bring friends and family closer together, and to inspire new connections through meaningful conversation. Today more than 250 million people have upgraded to Google+, and we want to give thanks. To you. It's your support and your voice that give the service soul, and we’re grateful.
We figure the best way to show our appreciation is to keep listening and making improvements, so today we're rolling out two major updates in response to your feedback: Google+ for tablets, and Google+ Events.
Google+ for tablets: putting mobile first, on lots more devices
Back in May we introduced new versions of Google+ for Android and iOS phones. In both cases we went native (with gestural navigation, fullscreen media and face-to-face video), and it’s had a powerful impact on community engagement. In fact, more people now use Google+ from a mobile device than a desktop computer, and today’s tablet release will quicken this trend.
Of course, our tablet app isn’t just bigger, like our mobile app isn’t just smaller. It’s designed with the device in mind, and it includes:
- A beautiful stream that styles content based on popularity, type and orientation
- A “lean back” Hangouts experience that’s great for the couch or common room
- Crisper text, fuller photos and easily-tappable actions like +1 and comment
The Android app is rolling out to phones and tablets later today (v3.0), and the iPad update is coming soon.
Google+ Events: for all the moments that matter—before, during and after
To celebrate is human. It’s how we connect with others, honor friends and family, or simply unwind after a long week. We save the date for picnics, parties and nuptials, and we cherish these moments for a lifetime. Unfortunately, the subtlety and substance of real-world events is lost online.
Today’s online event tools are really just web forms that ask, “Are you going?” Worse yet, they bail when you need them the most: during the actual event, and after everyone leaves. In life we plan, we party and we keep in touch. Software should make all of this more awesome, and that's exactly our aim with Google+ Events.
Before: send beautiful invites, and stay in sync with Calendar integration
Inviting someone to your home, your wedding or your favorite restaurant is a deeply personal act. You’re handpicking who’ll be in the room, after all, so invitees should feel part of something special. That’s why Google+ Events offers meaningful ways to build and send beautiful invitations, including:
- Cinemagraphic themes for your beach trip, weekend brunch, or baseball game (and a whole lot more)
- The ability to attach a personalized video greeting from YouTube
- Unique animations that make your invites a joy to receive
Google+ events also appear in Google Calendar automatically, and guests’ updates arrive instantly in the stream. The end result is a useful and beautiful place to manage your party.
During: share photos live with Party Mode
Photos are the cornerstone of any great event. They get people laughing and smiling, and they let us relive our favorite moments after the fact. The challenge—especially with the explosion in smartphones—is that too many photos get stranded in too many places. We struggle to even find people’s photos, let alone enjoy them all in one spot. Fortunately, Party Mode fixes these problems with a single tap.
Once you’ve enabled Party Mode on your mobile device, all of your new photos get added to the event in real-time. And as more guests turn on Party Mode, more pictures will instantly appear to fellow invitees. In this way Google+ Events gives your party a visual pulse; we’ve even added a "live slideshow" you can proudly project during the event.
After: see everyone’s pictures in one place
Once the guests go home, it's natural to reflect on the evening's events. We reminisce about the food, or the last dance, or the sparkle in someone’s eye. And we bask in the afterglow of shared experience for as long as memory allows. With Google+ Events you can now relive the party whenever you want, with a captivating and comprehensive set of photos.
Just visit your event page after it’s over, and you’ll see everyone’s pictures and comments in chronological order. You can also browse by popularity, photographer or photo tag with a few clicks. It’s easy, immersive and awesome.
Google+ has come a long way in a year, but we know we've got a long way to go. Fortunately we serve a community that's filled with thoughtful, committed individuals, and together we're creating something special. +1 person at a time.