Google courts Apple users with photo-heavy G+ mobile update

The app now includes Google's 'Stories' photo playback program

Google+ booth at Cebit 2012

Google+ booth at Cebit 2012

Google is updating its Google+ app for iOS devices, providing new photo playback and sharing features that could attract fans on the other side of the fence.

The company said Monday that the new version of its G+ app for iOS is available. It includes a bunch of new tools around photo editing and sharing, including Google's new "Stories" software for digital photo books.

Stories is Google's photo slideshow program with bells and whistles, previously announced last month for Android and the Web. Now it's on iOS, Google said in a blog post.

The feature, which lets people view, edit and share their stories with others within the G+ app, is available for the iPhone and iPad.

There are also several new photo editing tools in the iOS app. Filters and 1-tap enhancements are included, such as HDR Scape for removing shadows, or Retrolux for -- of course -- a vintage, retro look.

Google is trying to breathe new life into its G+ social network. Lately that seems to be coming out in photo editing and storytelling features. Late last year the company unveiled a big suite of photo editing tools, designed to be more accessible than what's found in advanced programs like Photoshop.

Google and Apple are also competitors. The G+ iOS update was announced shortly after the close of Apple's WWDC developers conference in San Francisco, during which iOS 8 and the new version of Mac OS X Yosemite were unveiled.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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Zach Miners

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