Google+ for iPhone adds Instagram-like photo filters

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) released an updated version of its Google+ social networking application for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone, adding photo-filtering features to rival Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) popular Instagram.

The revamped Google+ for iOS 4.3 integrates imaging enhancement tools acquired by Google in fall 2012 with its purchase of Nik Software, the developer behind photo-sharing app Snapseed: Users may now select filters like Drama and Retrolux, adjust saturation, contrast and brightness by sliding their fingers across the smartphone screen, and perform basic editing functions like rotating and cropping. "You can always download Snapseed for more advanced features (like control points)," notes Google+ Director of Product Management Amar Gandhi.

Google is also updating Google+ for its own Android mobile operating system. Version 3.6 brings a new stream design including comment previews and the ability to swipe through photo albums inline, controls to limit the volume of posts from individuals and communities, a new app setup flow, search filtering enhancements and location sharing with specific contacts.

Google+ launched in mid-2011. The platform rivals Facebook by giving users the flexibility to selectively share materials with friends and family sorted into circles. Research firm Global Web Index reports Google+ active usage grew 27 percent in 2012 to 343 million and now ranks as the second-largest social platform worldwide, but it still trails far behind Facebook, which tops 1 billion global users.

For more:
- read this Google+ blog entry

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