December 7, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Photos are running things today at Google following the we’ve-got-our-hands-in-everything-company released updates for two of its most popular apps. Google+ was updated to improve user interaction with photos and videos, while Google Goggles got an upgrade that makes image search so quick that they’ve sort of taken photos out of the picture.
Goggles has a new “Continuous mode” that scans items in the viewfinder and searches Google without needing to actually take a picture. Place the camera over a book, barcode, landmark, etc. and Goggles quickly recognizes what it should look for, so you don’t have to actually take a picture have it stored on the SD card. (Android 2.3 or higher is required for this particular feature.) The traditional “Snapshot” method is still available and is the only way to get search history or translation of text from a foreign language. Sidenote: Google says those features aren’t in continuous mode “yet,” so I’ll be very excited when we someday get live translation in Goggles.
Version 1.7 of Goggles also has contextual text recognition, so you can snap a picture of a magazine or newspaper text and a link to the online version of the article appear (when available). That should make it easier to share with friends or bookmark for later. There’s also a feature to request a more accurate search result, as well as add your own information to search results (more information on that here).
As for Google Plus, the network got an upgrade for better search, communication, and photos. You may have noticed that photographers are really taking to Google+ lately, so it makes sense that Google would make it possible to +1 photos, upload hi-res shots, and re-enable Instant upload for video. Here’s a changelog showing all of the new features. Download links are below.
- +1 photos
- +1 comments
- High resolution photo upload support
- See if someone’s online and currently typing in Messenger conversations
- Start Messenger conversations by just entering a phone number
- Links to posts or profiles can now open inside of the app
- Instant Upload supports videos again
- Several stability improvements and bug fixes