Google+ adds pan and zoom feature for photos, as Facebook announces mystery press event for next week

Alex Masters
zoom google blogs 300x225 Google+ adds pan and zoom feature for photos, as Facebook announces mystery press event for next week

Picture by Julian Davies

Today Google rolled out a new feature for Google+ that enables users to zoom into, and pan around, high resolution images from within the Google+ desktop site. The changes come just 4 weeks since Google lifted restriction on the size of images uploaded to their social network, either manually or via the automated ‘Instant Upload’ feature baked into the Google+ mobile app for Android. Google does however limit the total image storage space for each user to 5GB.

Google+ technical lead Dave Cohen announced the feature on his personal Google+ page, noting that: “Higher resolution photos will offer more to explore, so we’re excited to launch pan and zoom just weeks after launching full-size backups of your Android photos”.

To zoom and pan on a high resolution image simply use your mouse wheel to zoom in or out, then click and drag to pan right, left, up or down. If you don’t have a scroll wheel for your mouse you may be out of luck. As far as trackpads go, it’s also potluck. Some Windows based trackpads appear to work, whereas other do not. Mac trackpads appear to be compatible. If you’re not seeing the update on your machine be patient, as rollout can take several hours to reach all users.

The update was announced just a few hours after Facebook sent out an invitation to the world’s tech press inviting them to attend a mystery event that the social network will be holding on Tuesday January 15th at their headquarters in San Francisco.

Whether the two announcements happening on the same was sheer coincidence, or whether this was Google’s attempt to steal a bit of the limelight is anyone’s guess, but it will be interesting to see if any more new Google+ features materialise in the next few days. Silicon Valley is a small place, no doubt each company has an inkling as to what each is other is planning.

As for Facebook’s announcement, no details regarding the nature of the event have been provided as of yet, but it’s likely to be significant. Facebook doesn’t usually hold events like this unless they have something big to announce.

What new features would you like to see for Google+? or Facebook for that matter?

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  • Knowles2

    Google announces new features for Google+ most weeks, usually on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. It unlikely to be an attempt by Google at outshining Facebook, something Google isn’t entirely unknown for.

    The new pan and zoom feature is a cool feature for photographs, would like a higher zoom level through. Through I expecting to see a lot more features and tools added Google + lightbox over the next year, especially Nik Software is integrated into Google.

  • Carl Arrowsmith

    The old Google photo tool is far superior to the Google+ version. The old one was fast and effective, the new implementation is slow and complex. Same goes for Picasa

  • Anthony Papagallo

    just to put you all out of your misery, Zuckerberg is going to announce his retirement with the money he shafted out of Wall Street and Facebook is closing down.

    well, It could happen.

  • Gwrath

    Just another attempt to gather all your data up. Go for it sheep, shiny things in return for an open door on your private life!

    (My photo’s are stored in full resolution, I can view them with what i want, how I want, I have 2tb of storage which is expandable by me and I can recover a full back up in about 1 hour AND keep them private as they should be).

  • Stelrad P. Doulton

    Some people are happy to give up their browsing details for the amount of free stuff they get from the likes of Google and Facebook. It’s not a million miles remove from a Tesco Clubcard and probably only as concerning.

  • Gwrath

    “their browsing details”? You give up a hell of a lot more than that to google. I don’t have loyalty cards either. So I actually have room to be concerned and complain if I am a victim of ID theft. Unlike the herd who throw their secrets at anyone offering the slimmest of incentives – yet go nuts when the government ask for it.

  • Ben

    After resizing all my photos for upload (because they never displayed at anything above screen resolution), I’m now going to find all my panoramas and re-upload them at a decent resolution. Although I may have to watch that 5 GB limit and possibly start paying £5/year again for 20 GB storage (which I was doing before G+ arrived and said you could have an unlimited number of images as long as they were less than 2048×2048px).

    But the photo feature I’d really like is hierarchical albums rather than one huge list – so for example Christmas Lights –> 2012 –> Location; Events –> Event name

  • Timothy Takemoto

    I am looking for a replacement for flickr which seems to be dying a slow death but still it has no limits whereas google+ does. When google offer a paid service with limitless (or big) uploads then perhaps I’ll move.

    It also has to have a simple uploads. I wonder what is complex about google+ @Carl Arrowsmith

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