One of the better features of the Google+ platform is its handling of photos. From tagging to sharing, it’s a pretty fantastic experience. Google has taken the Picasa acquisition to a whole new level with Google+ Photos and the service launched two new features today: Album slideshows and downloads.

The download feature will spit out a .zip file that you can open on your desktop later.

Some of Facebook’s recent Photo product changes have reflected design choices that the Google+ team has already made, which is a sign that it’s on to something.

Here’s what Andrew Lee, Software Engineer on the Google+ Photos team had to say about it:

Two of the most common requests we get are the ability to view photos in a slideshow, and to download complete albums.

Well… you can now view album photos as a slideshow! Just open a photo in the lightbox, hit the slideshow button, and sit back and enjoy the photos full-screen (Example: http://goo.gl/5aNNA).

Today we’re also adding the ability to download complete albums. On an album page, click “More” and then “Download album” to get a .zip file containing the photos in the album (Example: http://goo.gl/EvfFH).

As always: if you want to turn off the ability for people to download your photos, simply go to Google+ Settings (https://plus.google.com/settings/plus) and uncheck “Allow viewers to download my photos.”

albumdownload.002 520x292 You can now view Google+ photo albums in a slideshow and then download them in a .zip file

albumdownload.003 520x292 You can now view Google+ photo albums in a slideshow and then download them in a .zip file

The download feature is perfect if someone in your family took photos at your wedding, or your friends took photos during any other shared event. Downloading those photos to your hard drive for safe keeping or re-sharing is pretty awesome.

This pairs nicely with the Google+ instant upload features that were recently rolled into its Events product.