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Google+ iOS update brings instant upload for photo and video

by Lisa Caplan

Google updated its iOS app to add a new search tool and some minor tweaks, but the big news is the introduction of a service Android users already love: instant upload. If there’s one thing almost all smartphone users have in common, it’s that we use the camera and our social networks to share snaps and video. Doing so on Google+ is now a lot easier for iPhone users.

Apple introduced iCloud with PhotoStream last fall which shunts photos taken from any iOS device to all other associated devices and iPhoto. It’s great, but it has storage limits and the pictures are locked into your Apple gear.

Google’s instant upload has no storage cap or 30-day expiration date (as yet) so images are really hanging in the cloud. Another big G plus – instant upload also stores video.

iPhone 4 and older model shutterbugs will not lose resolution, but 4S photographers will have to part with some of those 8 megapixels. Video length is limited to 15 minutes.

The service works only when the Google+ app is running or has been recently put into the background, so forgetting to launch the app will frustrate forgetful converts. But, that’s more than offset by the fact that it’s genuinely cross-platform.

Photos are kept private until you choose otherwise, and the whole process is easily set up in seconds. Just be sure to choose uploading by Wi-Fi only unless you have the rare unlimited data plan.