Just days after Google’s I/O developer conference ended, the company is rolling out an update to its Google+ app for Android which adds new photo and location features, as well as related hashtags to the stream.

The new photos section now includes automatic back-ups, which will save users’ photos safely and privately as they’re taken. This has been available on iOS for sometime, although users had to keep the app running in order to send the images to the cloud.

Google is also bringing over many of its new photo-editing features from the desktop version of Google+, including Auto Enhance, which makes subtle improvements automatically. There’s also Auto Highlight, which creates a selection of shots for the user to look over and share as a separate album. It’s an intriguing solution; most users will be sceptical about trusting Google’s algorithm, but it drastically speeds up the process of creating a respectable album from hundreds of holiday snaps.

g11 Google+ app for Android updated with new photo editing features, related hashtags and locations area

Auto Awesome is the final addition, adding the ability to create new, light-hearted versions of existing images – such as animations or panoramas – based on photos in users’ existing libraries.

Location sharing has also been overhauled in the Google+ app to give users a quicker way of seeing where their friends, family and colleagues are. Until now, users’ current whereabouts were only visible from their profile page, provided they had chosen to share it with other people through specific Google+ circles.

G2 Google+ app for Android updated with new photo editing features, related hashtags and locations area

This has now been updated with a new ‘Locations’ section, available from the side-menu, which shows the location of users’ friends on a rather handy map. It might be a small feature, but the idea of monitoring where other people are in order to make plans and arrange meet ups sounds awfully similar to Foursquare’s playbook.

In the stream, the Google+ app has also been tweaked to include the new automated hashtags found on the desktop version. They appear at the top-right hand corner of individual posts and tapping on them will produce new streams of related content. Neat.

g3 Google+ app for Android updated with new photo editing features, related hashtags and locations area

Bradley Horowitz, Vice President of Product, Google+, said today: “Photos, location and the stream are only some of the things we’ve improved in today’s update. Notifications are nicer to look at and easier to use. You can edit additional profile fields on the go. And there’s one-tap access to the all new Hangouts app — just to name a few.”

The new Google+ app for Android is rolling out today in the Google Play store.

➤ Google+ | Android

Image Credit: KIMIHIRO HOSHINO for AFP / Getty Images