Google+ users can now upload and share full-size photos from their desktop, courtesy an update. This nifty, new update will come in handy for users creating a new album to share, or when taking a back-up of some recent pictures, or while updating their profile picture. Google's Joe Emerson writes that to enable this new feature, users will have to go to their settings page (, and check the option “Upload my photos at full size”. 

Once you do this, any files that are larger than 2048 pixels will count towards your Google storage (up to 5GB free). Emerson adds that storing images at 2048 pixels or smaller continues to be free and unlimited. 

Here's how you do it!

Here's how you do it!

Google has also made changes to its Google+ sign-in feature, to allow developers to add features to it. Janrain and Gigya, user management and social infrastructure platforms popular with developers have now included the Google+ sign-in feature in their product suites, following the update.

So now developers can do the following – 

  • Add trusted authentication to their apps and sites 
  • Allow web users to automatically download their Android app 
  • Customize their app experience using Google+ profile info 
  • Enable users to share interactive posts with friends 
  • Write app activities that only appear when they're relevant  

The Google+ sign-in feature allows users to sign in to their Android, iOS and web apps using their Google login credentials.

Thanks to Janrain, Google+ users can now use NPR, Universal Music Group sites (which includes over 100 music artists and industry sites like,,,, and, and HSN, while Gigya allows Google+ users to sign in to American Idol (a Fox Broadcasting Company) and Food Network UK.

Being able to upload and share full-sized photos from one's desktop is especially fun now, since it complements well the ability to pan and zoom Google+ photos for better viewing. In January this year, Google's Dave Cohen introduced users to the pan and zoom feature. Users have to simply open a large photo in the lightbox and then, depending on how they want to view it, can either use their mouse wheel to zoom in or out and/or click and drag to pan right, left, up or down. Needless to add, photos with higher resolution offer more space to explore. 

This January update came close on the heels of an update that Google's Dave Besbris, Vice President of Engineering introduced in December last year. At the time, as part of an Android update, Besbris confirmed that they are offering users the ability to take full-size backups of their photos (up to 5GB free). This is in addition to the standard-size option (unlimited free storage at 2048 pixels). Once users enable the Instant Upload option and start clicking photos – their shots will be saved to a private album on Google+. 

Google seems to be focusing increasingly on improving the experience with images on its social networking platform, these days. Several photo-related enhancements over the past weeks bear testimony to that. 

Last month alone, Google updated its Google+ platform to include bigger cover photos. Google+ cover photos can now be larger and have a better aspect ratio. Cover photos can be as large as 2120 x 1192 pixels and they appear in a 16:9 view when fully expanded. 

A recent update saw Google introduce a new search filter for photo posts on Google+. Google+ search results can be filtered to display only photo posts. An interesting addition we say, as this way users can quickly find what they're looking for, instead of sifting through reams of pages. Users can also opt for “Everything”, whereby they will be shown a mixed bag of posts pertaining to their search. Other options include: People and pages, Communities, Events and more. Users have to type what they're looking for, and then select “Photos” from the filter dropdown. Once enabled, users will be shown spot photo posts that have been shared with them, and these include posts that were shared only with them or public photos on Google+. Say, if you're looking for “Cartoons” on Google+ and type “Cartoons” in the search box, then you just need to select “Photos” in the dropdown menu and you will see a stream of search results with images pertaining to the search.

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