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Highlight and Auto Enhance launched at Google I/O as powerful new Google+ photo tools

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Google+ photos can now be auto-enhanced
Google+ photos can now be auto-enhanced (credit: The Verge)

Google has launched some impressive new photography tools for the Google Plus social network, at its annual I/O developers event.

The new Google Plus photo tools are headlined by a new Highlight feature, which collates an album of the best photos you upload from your vacation.

Using powerful new photo algorithms the company brings together what it thinks are the best photographs and showcases them as such.

For example, Google Plus will search through your albums and search for photos where everyone in the frame is smiling, while it can also recognise landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and also famous landscapes.

Google says the machine-learning algorithms have also adapted to human tastes and knows which photos are more important to you. It recognises the people in your circles as people who're important to you and those photos will likely make the cut.

Just as Google Plus figures out which photos should go into Highlights, it also knows which shouldn't make the cut. Those with poor exposure (yes, Google knows) and duplicate photos aren't likely to make it.

Once the Highlights album is showcased, users can still access the rest of the photos they uploaded to Google Plus following their holiday by clicking the more button.

However, Google isn't just picking out the best photos you've taken, it's also making them better through powerful Auto Enhance tools.

The company said its an was button to make your memories look more beautiful. It applies layers for tonal distribution, which corrects the exposure to make it 'just right', while Noise Reduction can remedy pictures taken in low light.

There's also white balancing and red-eye reduction tools and even a skin softening tool that tones down the wrinkles and enhances you!

All of these features can be switched on or off on a global or individual photo level.

Beyond that, Google also announced an Auto Awesome feature for Google Plus photos (yes, that's what the feature is called).

With Auto Awesome, if you've uploaded a series of photos taken in burst mode, Google has gone in and created a neat little .gif-style animation.

If there are lots of photos with the same people in the frame, Google automatically creates a collage, while it'll also work to create a photo from multiple uploads to ensure everyone is smiling. It'll also auto-stitch panoramas if it notices an applicable landscape.

All of these tools are rolling out with immediate effect and aims to take the hassle out of making great photos out of what your camera has captured.

"This is what can happen when Google is your dark room. It puts the Google in Google Plus," said the company following the presentation.

These powerful tools may give Google Plus a greater sense of purpose than it ever has before. The tools are user friendly and the demonstrations were fantastic. We're excited to try this and see where it goes.

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