Google has rolled out a massive update for its Google+ apps that brings new photo filters, profile designs and even the ability to use GIFs as your profile picture.

The most important addition to this release are the photo filters for the iOS app. Google has finally put its acquisition of photo editing app Snapseed to use by adding features from it to the Google+ apps. You can now make all of your photo edits within the app itself; you can crop, change the image's contrast, saturation and brightness, and more. Like most social networking sites that have an image-editing function built-in, Google+ now lets you add filters to your images, quite like Instagram. This feature, however, seems to be a part of only the iOS app refresh.

The Google+ app also has a new flow to it. Your stream will show a lot more text and comments without having to view a story. In fact, when you tap on a story now, it takes you directly to the image, watch page or the website lightbox.

Features galore for iOS and Android

Features galore for iOS and Android

On the Android app, the +1, Reshare and Comment buttons are now displayed more prominently next to each post. It is now possible to filter search results by choosing between “best” and “most recent”, too—quite like Facebook’s News Feed. You can also swipe through albums in-line on the Android version of the app.

Ever since Google+ got Communities, users' news feeds have been clogged by certain active communities. However, the update lets you control the “volume” of the posts that you see in your stream from individual circles and communities. You can even choose to not have posts from communities show up on your stream. If you happen to be a Community manager, you can even moderate posts via the app.

The updated app for Android lets you share your current location. For iOS users, a new notifications tray has also been worked out. Showering its love yet again on the GIF format, Google+ will now allow animated photos as display pictures on the site.

It has been a long time coming, but “Ghost Town” Google+ is finally making a mark for itself as a social networking platform. Its deep integration with products like Gmail, YouTube, Search and Drive aside, Google+ is standing on its own two feet as an independent platform for users to connect with family and friends.

Google has been on a massive “spring cleaning” spree for the past couple of weeks. Besides killing off Google Reader, the search giant has released a new note-taking app called Google Keep and has added a new search filter for GIF images.

You can download Google+ for your Android and iOS devices here.

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