Google rolled out an update to its mobile Google+ app as a holiday gift for both Android and iOS users.
The Android Google+ app receives the bigger update, with users able to upload full resolution photos from their smartphone by using the instant upload feature.
Previously, the app would compress photos in order to save on storage, but Google is now providing 5GB of space for Android users who want to back up their full size photos through Google+.
The Android Google+ app also now lets users edit their profile through the app, adds improved notifications, and the ability to take photo spheres for 360-degree panoramic shots.
iOS gets some love too
The iOS Google+ app got its own photo viewing update, allowing for inline swiping through photo albums and adding "a subtle pan-zoom-scale effect to pictures in the stream."
Aside from the OS-specific improvements, both versions of the app can now access the newly added Google+ Communities.
Mobile Google+ users will also have better control over events with the option to send messages to individual guests, see who has opened their invitation, and RSVP with the number of guests you plan to bring along.
As a final feature for the update, the Google+ app on Android and iOS devices now supports Hangouts over connections as low as 150KB, which should be a big help in low bandwidth areas.
Cutting back on ad spam
While Google was busy improving its social network for mobile devices, it also rolled out an update to its mobile banner ads.
The new banner ads are designed to avoid accidental clicks by requiring a second tap to confirm that users want to see the site being advertised.
Google says it found that users often accidentally click on banner ads while scrolling or clicking links near the edge of a banner. It's annoying for users, and expensive for advertisers who pay for ads on a per click basis.
Google had already implemented a similar confirmation click system on text-based banner ads, and found that it led to fewer accidental clicks and an improved rate of users actually buying products from the ads.
Confirmation clicks will now be implemented for in-app image banners distributed by Google Mobile Ads, which covers a wide range of apps available on all mobile devices.