The latest version of Google+ for Android received an interface overhaul to make it match up with the updated Web experience along with new photo tools that make the app more useful than ever. The slide-out navigation menu on the left is still the best way to get around the app, giving you easy access to your Profile, Messenger, Hangout, Photos, and Circles. But with a new Locations section added to the list, you can display your current location and see where people in your circles are more easily than with previous versions.
The Home screen is the lifeblood of Google+. With the little drop-down at the top, you can choose to show feeds from All Circles, Nearby, What's Hot (trending posts), or any of your individual circles. As of yet, though, you can't create a custom feed with more than one circle (Family & Friends, for instance). Visually, this screen absolutely blows Facebook's Timeline out of the water. Icons are sleek and the large photos are eye-catching. Also, in the latest version landscape mode gives you a two-column layout similar to the three-column experience in the latest version of Google+ on an Internet browser, and I think it looks great.
From your Home screen, you can do almost everything you can in the full desktop version of Google+. You can easily comment on, Reshare, and +1 items, and, of course, you can create and edit your own posts with pictures, videos, and location tags. In the latest version of the app, you'll now also see auto hashtags, which let you search for more content about what's in the post. With the new auto hashtags and the new interface in the latest version, the Home feed feels both more attractive and more useful for getting to new content.
Here, you can see your Google+ public profile page, all of your posts, and all of your photos. You can edit much of your profile information from the Google+ app, which was something you couldn't do in previous versions. From the Settings screen, you also can choose to share your current location on your Profile if you like. Just turn Location Sharing on and choose which Circles you want to share the information with.
As expected, this is the hub for all of your photos and videos. It provides a simple interface for viewing and commenting on items from your circles, items you're tagged in, and, of course, all of your own album items. You can also share, add tags to, or download photos.
In the latest version of Google+ for Android, you get a few more ways to enhance your photos that you didn't have before. Now, you'll be able to enter an edit mode and use the buttons at the bottom for quick edits. The Enhance button automatically color-corrects and brightens up your image; it worked pretty well in my testing, but you always have the option to go back to the original if you prefer. The Crop screen lets you freely set the cropping area by dragging handles on each side of the image, or you can have it crop a part of your photo to a perfect square. There's also a rotate button for one-touch 90-degree rotations.
The most exciting new addition to Photos is the capability to add filters and frames to your photos. You get nine filters to choose from, and and you can cycle through variations for each by tapping the filter button again. Another button at the bottom lets you switch to Frames, giving you 11 different treatments to choose from along with variations that you cycle through by tapping. Photo filters were already a part of the iOS version of Google+, but the frames are something new to the Android version exclusively.