Gundotra even announced the ability to “Photoshop” live video chat sessions, called video Hangouts. For example, you can blur the edges of the frame. Even when you don’t apply such filters, Hangouts now plays in high-definition by default, and auto-adjusts the settings so your face is properly lit.
Google’s Hangouts On Air feature lets you live-broadcast video chats to the public like you’re CNN. You now get a sound board for controlling the volume for each participant. You can even schedule Hangouts On Air, and by doing so enable Google+ to create a “landing page” for that event, according to Gundotra.
The Hangouts app now supports SMS, animated GIFs and one-click location sharing. (The addition of SMS support elevates the Hangouts product into one that can replace all other text-based real-time communication services for users who choose it.)
The new features announced today will go online individually over the coming days and weeks.
Google’s announcements today around photography and video should interest just about everybody. They elevate Google+ into the best site for anyone who wants to backup their pictures in the cloud, anyone who wants really great looking pictures and, above all, people who have better things to do than slog through hundreds of pictures and videos and edit them manually.
But the automated aspects of Google’s photo offering should thrill futurists and hardcore technology fans. This is some seriously advanced supercomputer-level artificial intelligence being applied at an unprecedented scale. Nothing like this exists anywhere else.
Even futurists and science fiction writers never envisioned a machine that could grab high-resolution photos from your phone, upload them, categorized them by quality, recognize the people in and subjects of those pictures and index them accordingly, improve them skillfully with sophisticated photo editing tools and even manufacture entirely new images from them -- all in a few seconds, free of charge for hundreds of millions of people.
It’s truly indistinguishable from magic.