Google+ 4.3 for Android gives Communities a new look

The latest iteration of Google+ for Android focuses on making Communities look dapper, drenched in Material Design goodness.

There are two notable improvements in Google+ 4.3 for Android, Communities and timestamps. We'll look at the most prevalent (or at least most exciting) first:

Communities

When you first fire up the latest update, you'll notice the changes right off the bat when browsing a community. It's drenched in grey, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The community logo features more prominently, covering the entire width of the screen and unless the community owner has uploaded a high-quality picture, it will most likely look like a pixelated mess...
Old
New
A handful of community moderators are displayed underneath the logo, with the full number of members displayed under that. Clicking on any of the moderators will take you to a list of owners and moderators.

New Google+ Story notifications are showing up in Google Now

A new card will appear in Google Now upon notification of new Google+ Stories.

Stories is one of the newer features added to Google+ Photos, creating an interactive timeline of photos, locations and other events, all done automatically. Usually when an Auto-Awesome like photos, movies and stories is generated, it is gifted in the form of a notification in the Google+ app. While this is still probably the case, a card will now also appear in Google Now. Handy!

Google Now provides the right information at the right time, at least according to the landing page. Launched back in 2012, Now has grown into a platform in which many Google services and third-party apps can tap into. This is not the first time Now cards have appeared that stemmed from Google+ though; If you're a Now user, you may have seen Birthday from the people you have in your circles. You can get Google Now by downloading or updating the Google Search app for Android or iOS.

[Update] View your Google+ Photos in Drive

Rolling out today, your photos backed up with Google+ Photos will also be available on Google Drive.

For a long while photos stored on Google Drive were viewable within Google+ Photos, but today marks the first time you can view your Google+ Photos using Drive. That sounds a little confusing, so to put it simply, wherever you've stored your photos (be it Drive or G+ Photos), you'll be able to view them using whatever service is more convenient.

This is good because if you're like me, you'll have gigabytes upon gigabytes of photos from your childhood on Drive, dating all the way up to 2011, and the rest being backed up to Google+ Photos. Now I can look at my photos all in one place, which relieves my OCD a little...
In Google's announcement, it is stated that new photos will be viewable in Drive today, but may take a few weeks before your entire photo library is viewable. A new "Google Photos" button will appear on the mobile apps and on the web when it is rolled out to you.

It is important to note that even though your photos are viewable in both services, they only count towards your storage limit once. Also, if you delete a photo from Google+, it will be deleted in Drive and vice versa.

You can learn more about today's update by checking out the Help Centre article here.

Source and image: Google Drive Blog

Manage your poll votes in Google+ Settings

It is now possible to manage your Google+ poll votes all in one place - Google+ Settings on the desktop web.

The Google+ Polls feature has been around since October of last year and although much of the novelty has worn off since then, it remains a nimble tool for viewing people's views in an easy to read graph without much effort for the one asking a question, and for those answering.

It is easy to lose track on what you've previously voted on, so thanks to an update which has recently rolled out to Google+ settings on the desktop, you can view each individual poll you've voted on in a convenient list, and if you want to view a specific poll to change your vote, that's possible too.

Viewing your votes

To take a peek at your votes, make sure you're using the Google+ desktop site. Go to settings by opening the navigation menu on the left and clicking on "Settings". Scroll down until you see the "Apps & activities" header and then click on the "Manage votes" button.
Alternatively, enter plus.google.com/polls/votes into your browser's address bar to take you straight there.