Update: The mirror for API11 (Android 3.0+) is now live, and can be found at the bottom of this post.
Just yesterday, we saw Google release Gmail 4.8, which brought many new features such as the ability to save attachments directly to Google Drive. Now, Google has released yet another seemingly out-of-band update to another first party Android app. This time we have Google+, which has been bumped up to version 4.4, from the previously available 4.3 build that we first saw three months ago.
So what do we gain in the point revision from 4.3 to 4.4? Quite a bit, actually. For starters, we have Auto Awesome Stories and Movies. The former combines your photos, videos, and visited locations into handy travelogues, as seen in the left two screenshots, while the latter creates video highlight reels from photos and videos. In addition, you can create animated auto awesome-style GIFs on demand by tapping the new “plus button” in photos and selecting motion or mix.
Also on the photo front, very large photo libraries are now supported, and you can also browse these large libraries and highlights by date. In addition to supercharged photo support, Google+ 4.4 also brings a dramatically different UI. This is evident both in a new, red-themed UI, as well as a new navigation menu that allows you to easily switch between circles.
The complete change list, as described by VP of Engineering for Google+ Dave Besbris:
9 new features in Google+ for Android
1. Auto Awesome Stories now combine your photos, videos and the places you visit into beautiful travelogues. You can read more at http://goo.gl/JGgzil.
2. Auto Awesome Movies are now available on Android, iOS and the web, so lots more people will receive highlight reels of their photos and videos. Here’s one example: http://goo.gl/9ljcdj.
3. You can now create animated GIFs and photobooth-style images on demand. Just tap the new plus button in Photos, and select either Motion or Mix.
4. Really big photo libraries are now supported on Android, so you can access your many thousands of photos quickly and easily.
5. You can now browse your entire photo library, as well as your highlights, by date. Just drag the new scroll bar to move forwards or backwards in time.
6. Profiles now display total content views on both Android and the web. (You can choose to show or hide this number via settings.)
7. A new navigation menu makes it easier to switch between your favorite circles and communities, as well as other places in the app.
8. It’s a lot easier to share content from your phone or tablet. To give it a try, just tap the new pencil icon at the bottom right of the stream.
9. The app menu now slides away as you move down the stream, letting posts fill the entire screen.
Look for the new app as it rolls out gradually to Google Play (http://goo.gl/ruuHW), and let us know what you think!
The update is gradually making its way to consumer devices in the form of a staged rollout. Understandably, not every device will be in the initial wave. However, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs for your sideloading pleasure:
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