Google uploaded a new commercial for Google+ on Feb. 11, focusing on its ‘Instant Upload’ feature (it’s pretty warm, watch it below if you haven’t already).
Three days later on Valentine’s Day, Google updated the Google+ app for iOS with a welcoming feature. You guessed it: Instant Upload.
That will subside the Android envy iOS Google+ users used to have, but only partially. As noted on Google+’s help page, Instant Upload for iOS only works when the app is actually open and for a brief period of time afterwards, whereas the Android app will automatically upload new photos even when it’s closed.
That may not sit well with some iOS users, but it made perfect sense. If an iOS app has the ability to upload photos in the background automatically, even when the app is not opened, it’d create a whole new controversy just like the one surrounding Path.
Mostly, users who frequently use Google+ on mobile wouldn’t see a problem, as photos that are pending upload will be resumed on the next occasion the app is opened.
Besides Instant Upload, the update also brings the ‘What’s Hot’ stream to iOS, which is essentially a stream of the most popular posts on the network.
iCloud + Dropbox + Google Plus, Never Lose A Photo Again?
With Google+’s ‘Instant Upload’ on iOS, it’s almost impossible to lose a photo on an iDevice again. Already, photos on devices powered by iOS 5 will be automatically pushed to all of your other devices with iCloud, a service that Apple offered for free.
Then we have Dropbox, a much-loved cloud storage service that’s experimenting with automated photo uploads. The caveat is that the upload will only happen when you connect your device to your computer with a cable. But the upside makes it all worthwhile: photos will not only be pushed to all of your devices, it will also be stored in the cloud and can be accessed on any modern web browser.
Users who’re willing to test the new feature will be granted up to 5GB of free storage, on top of the 2GB initial free storage and everything you’ve earned via the referral program.
That amount of free storage may be enough for light photographers, but if you’re like the new dad portrayed in Google+’s latest commercial, you would appreciate the fact that there’s no limit to the amount of photos you can upload to the network.
In the video, the dad was glad that all his photos were still accessible even after he lost his phone, as they were all uploaded automatically to Google+. What the commercial fails to mention is that his photos were all resized to at most 2,048 pixels, not nearly good enough for photos taken with high-end smartphones these days.
Perhaps we can’t ask for too much when something is offered free of charge?