0168D: Definitely (Auto) Awesome Photos Indeed

So today Google announced another wave of improvements to Google+ and its related features. As much as I'm a major Googlephile, Google+ is definitely one of the Google services that I've really come to love over time. At first a lot of folks made the mistake of thinking of was just another social network - Google's late attempt at trying to compete with Facebook. But over time it has developed into something far greater than that - and it continues to grow along lines similar to what I had speculated back at the end of 2011.

And I know there will always be those folks who feel that Google+ is a mistake and don't appreciate how Google+ has changed the direction of almost the entire company. We've lost some good products along the way in the face of the Google+ juggernaut - the most painful loss as of late remains to be Reader. But in exchange more and more services are aligned with Google+. More and more Google products have integrated further with Google+.

But the Google+ effort has led to more and more benefits for other services. And I think the biggest boost that we've seen in the light of the Google+ improvement effort is Picasa and its online web album service. At first it just meant extra storage, but then Google introduced features like Auto Awesome, that make intelligent enhancements to any images uploaded to Google+ Photos or Picasa Web Albums. And the tweaks range from minor adjustments to the lighting and color to created animated GIFs derived from any burst shot photos plugged into the system. And today's Google+ enhancements include even more Auto Awesome enhancements and other bells and whistles. Just look how my photos from the O Bar Liberation Party translated into even more fun animated GIFs.

People probably find it weird that I upload all my images to Google+ Photos / Picasa Web Albums and not to more popular services like Facebook or quirky ones like Instagram. But I believe in Google and I love what they're doing and the continued enhancements to my photos actually inspires me to take even more images. I experiment with more and more shots and settings to see what Google+ will do with them once in the cloud. Every new batch of Auto Awesome photos is like the experience of opening Christmas presents or something. There's definite excitement and glee and eagerness to see what comes out.

So yeah, I continue to be a major Google+ fan. And Google+ is helping me push my photography efforts to even greater heights. And let's not forget that Picasa remains to be my favorite photo editor, at least when it comes to conventional tweaking and cleaning up of images. As much as I could achieve the same effects in Photoshop or something when it comes to individual images, Picasa is hands-down the better option when it comes to processing large batches of photos. And any trip to O Bar is going to result in literally thousands of photos of the various performances at the bar.

So yeah, it's a match made in Mountain View, so to speak.
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