Posted November 1, 2013 4:33 pm by with 1 comment

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Google+ rolled out a few new features this week that will make your Hangouts more business-like and your photos more awesome. (Including the ability to erase people. . . really crazy stuff.)

The big news for Google Hangouts is the ability to schedule Hangouts On Air, then promote them with a dedicated watch page.

hangout on air

I’m excited about this because I think Google Hangouts are an amazing tool for content producers but as a viewer, finding them is a drag. With the new watch page, you can tease your Hangout ahead of time, gauge the early response with the “Are you going to watch” buttons and it should make your webcasts easier to find.

Google has also improved the video experience making Hangouts full screen (yeah!) and it automatically fixes and enhances webcam lighting.

Auto Awesome for Photos

Google+ is also rolling out a bunch of new features related to photos:

  • For starters, full size backups and background sync are coming soon to Google+ for iOS. This way you can backup your photos as you take them.
  • In addition, finding your photos is actually fun. We now recognize over a thousand different objects—from sunsets to snowmen—so you can just type what you’re looking for, and find matching items in your library.
  • Auto Enhance improves each photo you add to Google+, and now you can now dial the enhancements up or down. If you’re already processing your images elsewhere, you can choose to exempt an album entirely.
  • If you like to edit on the go, then you’ll enjoy Snapseed and its new HDR Scape filter. While high dynamic range (HDR) imaging requires multiple photos to create its effect, HDR Scape can deliver similar results with a single tap.
  • We’re also adding Analog Efex Pro to the Nik Collection (still just $149). With it you can reimagine your images using classic cameras and processing methods—from toy and medium format to wet plate and vintage.

The craziest things are the new Auto Awesome techniques

  • Action. Maybe it’s your child’s first gymnastic meet, or you’re skateboarding with a friend. Action can take their tumble or half pipe trick, and create a strobe-effect photograph.
  • Eraser. When you’re taking pictures of landmarks, people and cars often get in the way. Eraser can take a sequence of these photos, and erase whatever’s moving to give you a “cleaner” image.
  • Movie. Movie produces highlight reels from your photos and videos—complete with effects, transitions and a soundtrack—automatically. You can share the movie as is, or dive into the editing process to customize even further.

Here’s a visual on Eraser mode. This is sci-fi freaky:


eraser left eraser rightpng

Where did all the people go? Wonder if you can use this to erase ex-boyfriends from old photos. . . .

Not all of the techniques work on all devices so sorry if it doesn’t work on yours. You can get more pictures and details on the Google + Blog.