A cloud of common sense just landed on Google, and instead of offering users separate storage caps for Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ photos, the sultan of search has decided to offer up 15GB of unified storage for free. In doing so, users are in complete control of how much each of Google's cloud services can hold, which is particularly great if you're deeply invested in Drive and/or Google+ Photos, two services that were previously limited to 5GB combined.
A ghost town no more, Google+ is home to hundreds of millions of active users.
Some still contend that Google+ is a ghost town, a social playground largely devoid of active participants. Others, like Google's Senior Vice President Vic Gundotra, see Google+ as "the fastest-growing network thingy ever." Backing up his claim with numbers, Gundotra claims Google+ is home to 500 million people overall and 235 million active users who are +1ing apps, hanging out in Gmail, and connecting with friends in search. Some 135 million are active in just the stream, Vundotra says.
Google is scheduled to hold a press event in New York on October 29, in which it's widely expected the company will introduce will a new Nexus 7 32GB model to replace the 16GB version at the $249 price tier. That's not all Google has on tap. It's also been rumored Google will launch a 10-inch Nexus tablet built by Samsung, which the company's Senior Vice President all but confirmed on his Google+ page.
Be honest, do you really have a close relationship with the 500 or 1,000 people in your online social network? Probably not, but Facebook has, for some time now, been reminding you of each one's birthday (optionally), and then it's up to you whether you want to post a message or not. It's a pretty basic feature, and now it's available in Google+. You know, just in case you can't remember the dates for the three people in your circles who actually use the service (we kid, we kid...sort of).
Having already conquered search, Google seems to have set its sights on doing everything in its power to promote its Google+ network. There's no need to feign surprise, then, that Google its giving is Gmail video chat service a makeover with Google+ Hangouts. The alteration upgrades Gmail's peer-to-peer based video chat feature with "more modern video calling technology" that promises to improve reliability and enhance video quality, as well as allow Gmail users to connect with people using Google+.
Fair statement or not, the social networking scene consists of Facebook (the largest social playground in the solar system), Twitter (the most popular micro-blog around), and everyone else. That's how it's perceived, anyway, with Google+ viewed by many as not much more than a ghost town, a struggling afterthought that most people are familiar with, but nobody actually uses. If going by the numbers, that perception is wrong.
Google had been making a lot of changes as of late, and the Android mobile operating system had not been spared. Android 4.0 was a drastic UI departure, there is now a developer design guide, and just today, the Android Developers at Google set up a Google+ account to help devs to make better apps.
Google+ grew to over 90 million members in short order, and for the most part, it did it without the benefit of teenagers flocking from Facebook (not counting the ones who slipped through the cracks and were previously able to open an account). A change in policy now allows teens age 13 and over to join Google's social networking service, but will they find it fun enough to stick around?
Not everyone is keen on using their real name for a Google+ account. It's a deal killer for some, and even though Google's social playground is now home to more than 90 million users, it's willing to compromise with users by adding support for alternate names, so you can be called The Round Mound of Rebound instead of Charles Barkley, if that's what you really want.