A brief overview of what Google+ History is

You've probably heard about the recent announcement about the Google+ History API, but do you know what it is?

I didn't know until earlier, so let me explain in simple terms.

Think about Instant Upload. When you take pictures "out in the real world", they're automatically uploaded (privately) to Google+. Later, when you're ready to share your day, you select the photographs you like and share them all at once in a nice bundle. 

Now think about Facebook's Open Graph and Ticker. Everything you do is instantly broadcast to all of your friends in an open "firehose". If you listen to 30 songs, they're published one-by-one. If you earn three achievements in your favorite game, they're also published as they happen. Checked in? Watched a couple YouTube videos?

Now, think about what you would get if you combined the two. If everything you did (not just taking pictures) was instantly available to you on Google+. Of course, everything would be private until you chose what to share, and instead of one-by-one sharing, you could bundle up individual items and share them to the circles you choose in one post. 

Did you go to the park today? Share the pictures you took. 

Go for a run? Share the songs you listened to. Maybe eventually add in the route you ran as well.

This is Google+ History: It's Instant Upload, but no longer limited to just photos. It's for choosing when, where, and how to share anything.

Now, let's take it one step further, and imagine what we could potentially do with it. 

Imagine it's your nephew's birthday, and the party is at the park. You Check In when you get there (naturally, because Google+ Events prompts you to). You take a good amount of photos, and record several videos of singing happy birthday and opening presents. 

When you get home, you aggregate all of your photos, videos, and the check-in into one "party" post, where memories of the party will live on in one location online. Because you checked into the event when everything was happening, you're also able to see the photos and videos everyone else there took. 

It's a post you can send to your nephew, their parents, their parent's parents, and anyone in the family who couldn't make the party to truly make them feel like they were there.

If you want to learn more about Google+ History, there's a really cool, in-depth overview by +Gregory Class at http://gusclass.com/blog/2012/07/13/the-how-and-why-of-google-history/

Right now Google+ history is in developer preview, so you can't release any apps to the public using it, but that doesn't mean you can't hack around and have something awesome when it releases. Also, because of this, things are probably pretty likely to change. There aren't aggregations currently, but I think that would be a pretty awesome feature (don't you?). As it's developer preview, if you've got feedback on it, you should direct it towards +Jenny Murphy -- she's pretty nice and trying to learn more about how devs are using the API to make it even better!

If you want to get started, the official documentation (and sign-up form to get access) is available at https://developers.google.com/+/history/ (with pretty graphs!)
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