Google adds some Google+ cheer with your very own AutoAwesome “year in review”

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The Google+ AutoAwesome feature is one of the best features the search engine giant added to its “don’t call it a social” social network this year. Now, to make for a fitting end to 2013 Google is creating your very own “Year In Review.”

Google’s Vic Gundotra highlights that the creation of the video is dependent “on a lot of factors (the quality of your pictures, if our algorithms believe we can auto create a high quality movie for you, etc).” The videos will be rolling out to everyone over the next week but don’t be too upset if Google+ doesn’t believe it can’t create a video for you.

Google’s Lead Product Manager at Google Photos, Anil Sabharwal shared his very own video of 2013 and it’s quite cheerful:

#AutoAwesome storytelling

This time of year we reconnect with loved ones, and we reflect on the moments that really matter. Photos and videos help preserve these moments, and when you save them to Google+,#AutoAwesome can bring your story to life in meaningful, magical ways. #AutoAwesome can, for example:

- Transform a game of dress-up into a delightful animation (http://goo.gl/aJzYUj), or
– Create a highlight reel for a recent family wedding (http://goo.gl/Th3wE0), or
– Display an entire cliff diving sequence in a single image (http://goo.gl/b6weQ6), or
– Add falling snow to your favorite winter photograph (http://goo.gl/9gdPrC)

In all cases these gifted items appear in your account automatically, so as long as you’re backing things up to Google+, you’ll get notified whenever an awesome (and private) version is ready to share.

Of course: many people have been saving and sharing their photos and videos on Google+ all year long. And for those select users we’ve got one more holiday gift: an #AutoAwesome year in review(I’ve attached mine as an example). You’ll get notified in the next week or so if you have one of these movies waiting for you.

Most importantly we want to say thank you. It’s your support and enthusiasm that make Google+ so special. And we’ll keep working to help you tell your story. #googleplusupdate #year2013

Google adds shake feature to Google+ for Android, adds snow to your photos

Google’s Vic Gundotra just announced a bunch of updates for Google+ for Android, including shaking your Android device to add some snow to your photos. Similar to last weeks addition of the snowy autoawesome feature, all you have to do is open your photo, shake your device and snow will start falling. It’s a gimmicky but nifty feature and one we’ve come to expect from Google in years past.

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Google’s Vic Gundotra promises insanely great cameras on upcoming Nexus phones

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As noted by Android Central, Google’s Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra yesterday made some comments about the quality of cameras in upcoming Nexus devices. While Google’s Nexus lineup has never been known for having the best cameras, Vic promised in the comments of a photography-related Google+ post that Google is committed to making improvements to the cameras in future Nexus phones.

Gundotra’s original post questioned if he should bring his DSLR in addition to his Android phone and Google Glass on an upcoming vacation. When asked by a commenter whether a future Nexus could replace a DSLR, Gundotra responded:

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Here’s why Larry Page told Google+ lead Vic Gondotra he can’t use Twitter


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Google Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra, who is also known as the man behind Google+, admitted at the SMX Social Media Marketing conference last night that “his boss” asked him to stop tweeting on Twitter. 

Many reports assumed Google CEO Larry Page is the boss in question and further surmised that the above tweet is probably the reason behind his request. Gundotra’s tweet occurred around the same time Microsoft landed a strategic mobile partnership with Nokia that would replace Symbian with the Windows Phone operating system. The timing led to speculation that the tweet was a dig at both companies.

The Next Web published a transcript of Gundotra’s explanation:

No, actually I was asked not to do that by my boss. I tweeted a tweet about two companies that went viral, went very very viral and made a lot of headline news. And honestly, I didn’t anticipate that my comments would be interpreted in the way they were interpreted.

I thought I was speaking to a relatively small number of people who followed me, a developer-oriented group, and instead it went mainstream. And so, uhm, I’ve curtailed my usage since then.

Gundotra last tweeted in July 2011.

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Google’s Vic Gundotra posts photos taken with Nexus 10

Google Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra posted some vacation photos to his Google+ (via AndroidCentral) page that appear to have been snapped by a yet-to-be unveiled Samsung Nexus 10. Some information that we learn about the tablet’s camera specs: the image is shot at 2,048-by-1,536 resolution (3.1 megapixels), which is rather low, but that’s likely because Google+ resized the images. It seems unlikely Vic would post images from another device with the camera listed as “Nexus 10,” but we’ll know for sure on Monday when Google is expected to announce the Nexus 10 alongside the new LG Nexus 4 in New York.

Another one of the images is below:

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