Google+ for Android: 5 updates you’ve been asking for

Google+ gets better when we build it together, so today's new Android app (v4.1) includes a number of highly-requested improvements. In particular:

1. Account and page switching is a lot easier
Just like Gmail for Android, you can now switch between multiple Google+ accounts with a couple of taps (vs. signing out and signing in again). And the Google+ pages you manage are likewise in the app menu at all times.

2. Google Apps for Business features are now fully supported
If your Apps administrator has enabled Google+, you can now share content publicly, with your circles, and/or with just the people in your organization. In addition: you’ll know at a glance whether someone’s profile is part of your Apps domain.

3. Google Drive photos & videos are now accessible from Google+
If you're storing photos or videos in Google Drive, you now have the option to view and share them from Google+ (on Android, and the web). Drive photos in particular will get enhanced and awesome’d automatically (see plus.google.com/photos/whatsnew).

4. Location sharing includes more controls
Starting today you can share your pinpoint or city-level location with others (if you want), and you can do so on a circle-by-circle basis. For example: you can share your pinpoint location with family, and your city-level location with co-workers. You can also use circles to filter who appears on your “Locations” map.

5. Messenger is going away, Hangouts is sticking around
Now that Hangouts provides messaging and video calls across Android, iOS and the web, we’re removing Messenger from the Google+ mobile apps (first on Android, then on iOS). Later today you'll be able to download all of your Messenger conversations (including text and photos) from Google Takeout.

The new Android app includes a handful of other updates (like pull-to-refresh), but we’ll let you discover those on your own :-) It’s rolling out to Google Play over the next few days (goo.gl/xaxMx), so give it a try and let us know what you think! #googleplusupdate
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166 comments
 
Indeed ! Great feedback-listening right here. Thanks ! :)
 
Lovely! Can you tell the Google Play team to update their app and follow the guidelines like the Google Plus team has, this is gorgeous! 
 
+Virgil Dobjanschi 
can you add "Upload Photos to Specific Album"???
that's been asked so many times and it's so important for mobile photographers
please add asap please.
thanks for the update
Dan Wade
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+Virgil Dobjanschi lovely stuff, but can you make it that if I share a post the app doesn't jump back to the top of my stream?
 
Great news. Thanks for all your hard work.
 
+Jeroen Pardon off the top of my head, still need settings button, does a full screen refresh (Red band, enable in dev options to see), the different sizes of images, comparing it to Google Plus is night and day.
 
Great Update for Location Sharing, You promise :)
 
+David Poole thanks for the insight. What do you mean by the different image sizes though? The app screenshots?
 
+Jeroen Pardon Say you have 3 apps, one of the images can be bigger and it pushes up the line, looking in landscape you can see quite a lot of the visual issues.
 
What about iOS, same features for the next update? Is it ready yet?
 
Thank you for adding account switcher. It's been a hassle.
 
Amazing! Great looking update! You guys are killing it! 
 
Here's a request for the android app; stop sending me back to the top of my news feed whenever I reshare something one of my friends has posted. Such a pain to have to scroll back down to where I was. 
 
I'm off to buy two bottles of Champagne to celebrate point 1!! Pictures to follow  
 
has it fixed the force close when I scroll too fast after backing out of a view post screen
 
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
 
+Dan Wade the problem you are mentioning (stream jumps to the top after posting) should be fixed in this version. Please let us know if this is not the case.
 
 
Awesome. Another reason I love Google. They actually listen to their consumer base. Now just to add the ability to hide what people are +1ing and we'll be set! :) 
 
I love where you are heading with the Drive and G+ photo integration! I am looking forward to finally seeing full syncing of G+ albums as Drive folders so all my photos can be viewed and managed from either location with only one hit on storage space. Right now I do not store any photos on Drive because of the duplication that would result in. But it would be great to have the capabilities of the offline convenience and organization power of Drive for all my photos. 
 
Nice to see the app improve and hangouts starting to be more coherent, but +Virgil Dobjanschi, will hangouts be capable of handle text messaging (SMS) like other apps are integrating? And it would be just a killer app if hangouts could work by just identifying yourself by your phone number; please have this in mind ;)
 
Love the Google+ Android app...but...

Please Please Please bring back some way to Mute posts without having to go into them.

You used to be able to long press and then mute but it was removed a long while ago and I still hold out hope that it will return...Swipe away the post would be nice -- but not sure how it would work on a multi-column layout like a tablet...
Ward A
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Nice nice, this is all good: But are you going to make Hangouts more shitty this time around or will it remain at its current level of shit? That has to be - by far - the worst application Google has made thus far. It's slow, it's buggy and it's annoying. I can get forced into "Video calls" and other "Hangouts." Where my phone just goes crazy with notifications from hundreds of people. I've changed my preferences to "Request Only" for every circle I have, and yet, I still get forced into calls. I look at my list and I have literally hundreds of requests for hangouts. I can't get rid of them without joining and saying "Deny." Notifications disappear or I'll see a notification with a message, read it, click the message and it's not even there yet. I'll send a response and it literally takes 2 minutes to show up on the screen and get to the person. 

I know this post is about Google+ the app, but y'all really need to let me go back to GTalk. I've been using GTalk since it was beta. I still use the desktop app and don't use that memory hogging plugin in Chrome. 
 
Good news.

Does this include an error circle for pinpoint location and a time of last update, as latitude used to give?
 
Has there ever been any blog post or video series on the UI design of the G+ app?  There are a lot of neat effects in regards to scrolling and loading content, and as an app developer I'm always curious as to how it is pulled off.
 
+Virgil Dobjanschi would like that Google+ photos were just on Google drive and vice versa. Having them at two seperate places does not make sense
 
This is a great update, but we need photo/drive integration the other way as well. I want all my photos uploaded to +Google+ to be viewable in +Google Drive as well without taking up any additional storage. 
 
+Allan Wong if you enable the Auto Backup feature, you can copy a photo that has been uploaded to an album of your choice by navigating to the photo 1-up and selecting 'Copy to album' from the menu. The ability to upload a photo directly to an album will come in a future release.
 
+Virgil Dobjanschi can you please fix the app to be able to share photos from any folder, not just the camera roll? And no, sharing from Gallery is not a workaround since I cannot change the (random) order of images this way.
 
+Virgil Dobjanschi thanks a lot.
i know that workaround but that way i can't share that photo which represents the album.
that's only a copy anyway.
keep up the good work and hope that feature arrives soon.  i travel a lot and really think that feature is necessary
 
I think that syncing the photo albums between for the two would be incredible. Imagine having a Drive folder for every album on Google Plus and being able to drag and drop photos on your computer into that folder in Google Drive and have them automatically sync to albums in Google Plus and vice versa. The key would be that photos which were uploaded at the correct size in G+ would also not count against storage in Drive either.
 
Please give us back the ability to change status to Invisible on Hangouts.. Or, at least, make us invisible by default to the ones that still using the GTalk. Not being able to stay invisible still a blocking issue for many people to switch to Hangouts (including me).
 
+Virgil Dobjanschi fast account switching is great but photo auto-backup switches too. I'd like this to be a separate option so my photos always go to the account I specify no matter which account I'm reading or posting as at the moment. Or at least a toggle to say switch auto-backup with account or always use account x.
 
+Stuart Cummings - the app works exactly the way you describe.  Auto Backup is under device settings and is bound to just 1 account.  You can then "view" any account or page without affecting which account Auto backup is saving your photos and videos to.
 
+Virgil Dobjanschi can you add the ability to join beta groups as a beta tester in app instead of having to go to Google groups log in then back again. Reduces steps if this can be done from with the g+ app.
 
Last update time is very useful, thanks, but without an error circle to know how accurate a fix was when the location was updated you can't be sure if a pinpoint location is, in fact, pinpoint. This makes it a lot less useful.
 
Having previously turned off autoenhance/awesome (personally I really don't like it) will my drive photos be safe from that feature or do I need to do something to stop them being ruined? 
 
+Amar Gandhi Thanks. It was a feature I used a lot on Latitude to help estimate when someone sharing their location with me would arrive at a venue.
 
Life360's website creeps me out in a "You want to spy on your kids all the time with little effort? Use our app!" way and the recommendation by Fox really doesn't help with that.
 
Any chance there is a plan to address what seems to be the most-common* frustration with Hangouts: being able to sort/show by Online Status like we used to have on Google Talk?

* "most-common = number of comments in the Play Store
 
I also asked for a configuration of the notifications in the "red corner" . Without this the notification system stays unusable for me as I'm overflooded with +1 notifications.
 
I'm looking forward to having Hangouts be integrated into the mobile Google+.  I can use the mobile Google+ and use the mobile Hangouts, but I cannot seamlessly integrate the two together.  It's actually a big pain the the rear......
 
I don't suppose the black 'compose bar' has been removed from the bottom of the main screen has it? Don't like that it takes up that space and then reappears when I scroll up.
Look forward to playing with the new update, keep up the good work!
 
+Virgil Dobjanschi  I was told a while back that the syncing between G+ albums and Drive folders I described above would be an option at some point, is that still in the forecast?
 
Thank The Lord for #1. Now I have to wait for the iOS update. 
 
A REAL trending list for mobile users would be great, the top 3 list we see in our streams isn't much. 
 
+Vance McAlister I have not heard of a plan to sync G+ and Drive photos (in either one or both directions). I can't speak for future plans.
 
The update to Locations sounds like a much needed improvement.  I look forward to actually using it now.  I hate to keep at this, but it seems like it still has a ways to go before it is as useful as Latitude was; e.g., not just seeing where someone was but being able to get directions to their location.  I hope it will continue to improve.  It's just too bad that this feature wasn't ready to go before Latitude was dumped.  Really it should have been READY and BETTER before Latitude was scrapped if you ask me.... (not that anyone is)....  

The update to Drive/Photos sounds interesting and enticing, but also a bit confusing.  Not clear how this will work.  It sounds like a bigger update than just an Android app update, but rather an update to the whole G+ photos/GDrive integration.  Is that correct?  Really going to need to mess around with it and learn how it works.  Real deep integration between the two for picture files would be awesome.  Is there any additional announcement on this feature and how it works?  
 
Does it have basic cut/paste features +Virgil Dobjanschi ? If not then why please? It is so frustrating to have to use G+ from a mobile browser to get such a usually standard and very useful feature. 
 
Location sharing on Mobile is good, but when can we start viewing locations from the Web Browser on desktops?
 
+Vladimir Pantelic You can share individual photos from any album! Just go to the album, long-press on a photo and select as many other photos you want to share. The long-press is also available on photo highlights as well as the all photos view. You can't make a single post with photos from multiple albums and that is not likely to change.
 
+Allan Wong If you want, you can share a whole album.  Navigate to the album [Photos -> Albums -> Your Album] and hit the share icon in the action bar [or, if the album hasn't already been shared, we've added a big green button at the bottom of the screen to help you share]. The benefit of sharing an entire album is that photos added to the album after the post are instantly available in your original the post.
 
+Virgil Dobjanschi hmm, it was just in casual G+ conversation, so not any sort of announcement or anything.  Still, it is disturbing that you haven't heard anything about it.  It does seem like a very natural progression, though, and everyone seems to like the idea a lot.  Hopefully, it will get on the list soon.  :0)
 
These are some great updates.
 
Interesting to see that Google have backtracked on Pull to Refresh. That makes me happy :-)
 
+Todd Kennedy thanks so much for your reply
actually, the way it should work for me should be, as when I am on the go and shoot photos say for a specific trip during a few days time frame, on my phone:
1. shoot photos on Day 1
2. share the photos and create that Album A
3. shoot photos on Day 2
4. share the photos to that Album A and the sharing post will only show the photos on Day 2. 
5. etc
This way, on each of my post it will show only photos on that Day and they are all in the same album.

The way you and +Virgil Dobjanschi suggested, it will end up I am sharing the entire album every time I share and viewer will not know which were done on Day 1 and which were done on Day 2.  etc

I hope this explains the need of Upload to specific album.

This feature is very basic actually and it's been on Facebook for a very long time and it's constructive.

Anyway, thanks for listening and your suggestion.  appreciate it
 
Did you read #3 +Todd Kennedy ?

"Drive photos in particular will get enhanced and awesome'd automatically" 
 
+Virgil Dobjanschi  I thought I just had an epiphany and could still realize my dream of having access to all of my photos in both places after all by simply making Drive my photo storage option, but this won't work for two reasons.  First, all of my auto-updates go to G+, and that is too convenient to give up.  Second, all of the photos going into G+ don't count against storage, but all the photos going into Drive DO count against storage.  Do you have any suggestions to help with either of these problems so that I can have one place for my photos?
 
+Allan Wong Thank you for the feedback. We're always looking for ways to better server our users and their use cases.
 
+Neil Crawford If you've enabled auto-enhance, it will be applied during import to Google+. However, the original photo stored on Drive will remain unchanged.
 
+Todd Kennedy Is it actually importing the photos to a different server for G+, or just the two services accessing the same photos from the same location?  I am assuming the latter so that if I crop a picture later in Drive, that cropped version will be what is shown in G+.
 
+Vance McAlister Photos auto uploaded at full resolution do use drive quota. Only photos smaller than 2k by 2k do not count against quota. You can configure the uploaded photo size in the Auto Upload settings.
 
+Todd Kennedy  Right, that is for G+, but does that count for Drive as well? Even if so, the problem would be doing the downscaling into Drive whereas G+ does it automatically for me.
 
Location sharing is still useless until you can see a timestamp at your friends location. That was aleady possible with Latitude, so what a regression.
 
+Vance McAlister Agree 100% with the ability to do 2-way syncing of G+ Photo Albums with Drive Folders. In the meantime, I don't see anything about Drive integration in the what's new page that was linked and am not sure how to go about learning the details of what has just been implemented.
 
+Amos Hayes  I couldn't find it until I was on the photos page and did a refresh.  Then it gave me the option.  I am now on the Albums page and it is showing each Drive folder with pictures in it as an album, but not all of the pictures are there, so they must be loading them in.  This points to "importing" v. "sharing" in answer to my question to +Todd Kennedy  above.  This makes me wonder about the editing of pictures on the Drive side showing up on the G+ side.
 
+Vance McAlister There is one shared quota between G+ and Drive. Auto Backup can upload photos in their original resolution; which may count against your quota. For posts, G+ automatically downscales your photos so they do not count against your quota.
 
+Todd Kennedy  Yes, but what about photos uploaded to Drive that are within the smaller size limit (that would not count in G+), do they count against that shared storage? 
 
+Vance McAlister Ah... It must still be rolling out then. I'm not seeing anything new about Drive when I refresh. What does the option look like? Is it a pop-up question or in settings somewhere?
 
+Amos Hayes  Yes, it is a big splash notice in the middle of the page asking of you want to opt in.  Then in the albums section it adds the folders with pictures as albums.  But for me not all pictures are coming through.
 
+Vance McAlister Also, is it showing an album for every Drive folder that contains any photos/video? Personally, I think I would want to be able to designate a specific root folder in Drive for it to read (and eventually sync with.) So Photos/MyTrip would show up as a MyTrip album in Google+.
 
+Virgil Dobjanschi it would be really nice if we had the little symbol that let you know when you have been circled like the iOS app
 
+Peter Radcliffe The latest release indeed has inaccuracy circles for people sharing pinpoint location. Tap on that persons placard and you will see the inaccuracy circle. You might have to zoom in the map to see the inaccuracy circle, as it may be small.

+Amar Gandhi 
 
Nice update, but staged roll out is just bad! 
 
"The new Andrpoid app includes a handful of other updates (like pull-to-refresh), but we'll let you discover those on your own"
How awesome is that of all the other features added and updated. Its like Christmas!!! ":-)"
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+Virgil Dobjanschi Am not sure if your are the right guy to ask about it, but is this features isnt included at certain regions?
I live in iraq and everything used to work perfectly fine until maps udpated to version 4
Now I cant enable it, say not available at your region, so is all my friends
 
+Vance McAlister By default Drive integration imports every drive folder. However, if there's a folder you don't want, load the album in G+ and select "Remove from Google+" in the menu.
 
+Todd Kennedy Very good, that is a nice option to have.  I am following a lot of threads about this topic and the reaction on the photo/Drive bit seems to be the same "that is an awesome new feature but what I really wanted was the reverse (G+ to Drive)!"   :0)
 
+Vance McAlister If a Drive photo has been imported to G+ and you later edit the photo on Drive, you will see the edited photo on G+.
 
+Todd Kennedy  OK, thanks for clarifying.  So, this is why I can't have Drive be my single repository of photos. Which is too bad because Drive just seems like a more sensible place to organize and manage them (especially with my offline Google Drive on my computer).  I need Google + for the auto-uploads and free storage option, but want Drive for organization and a single repository, but that would require two-way sync.  Hopefully soon!  :0)
 
+Todd Kennedy Oh, and thanks for clarifying the editing question as well.  So, it IS a sync and not just a single upload.  I still wonder whether the two services are accessing a single source, or if the files are actually located in two servers and just syncing up, but maybe that is a "secret sauce" thing.  :0)
 
Does "originally shared this" link to the original post in this release? That's all I want for Christmas.
 
#3 - Google Drive Photos -- "This feature is not available for Google Apps accounts." 

WHY? We are always punished (and we pay!!)
 
One thing I am noticing with the photos is that not all of my Drive photos are showing up.  I have a folder with around 20 photos in them, but only 8 are showing up in the G+ album version, etc.  In another, I have 4 photos, but only one is showing up on G+.  This is a couple of hours later, so they should be synced.
 
+Virgil Dobjanschi, something else i & various people in my group have been begging for, posting about, pleading about, are more important issues than a messenger icon being removed or not. we are TIRED of being snapped back to the top of the feed after we've scrolled down a bit on the mobile app. we are also TIRED of being snapped back to the top of the feed on mobile, whenever we share a post. every time either of these things happen, i just stop using the mobile app for a while. it's INFURIATING & FRUSTRATING!!! when will these BUGS be fixed, since breakage should likely take precedence over introduction of novelty features!! also to quote +Adrian Wolf, please, please, please, bring back some way to Mute posts without having to go into them. one last request as well. we REALLY need a keyword filter. some of us don't want to ever see cat posts, others like me don't' give a crap about sports, and maybe, some aren't into science at all (shiver). would really appreciate it!!!
 
Awesome can u plz at least offer the feature to integrate with google voice so I no longer have to use sms I can do everything from Hangouts ....maybe even and a Voxer like feature maybe thats a long shot but I know u can do the sms C'mon 
 
Confused here...  My Galaxy S4 is running 4.2.2 and it says that it has the August 14 version of G+. However, I'm not seeing the features described above. Furthermore, App Mgr. says that my G+ is ver. 4.0.2.48854689, but based on the OP, I expected it to be 4.1. Can anyone shed light on this?
 
+Virgil Dobjanschi só queria saber por que os contatos que estão online não ficam no topo, acima dos contatos que estão offline.
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+Allan Wong - you can upload pictures to specific albums. Go to your gallery app, select the photo you want to upload, tap the share icon and select Picasa. The select which album you want to upload to.
wang le
 
The g+ photos icon is unnecessary, at least let us to hide it. Other parts are great.
 
omfg!! the +Google+ team WAS LISTENING to all the feedback & frustration sent in their general direction regarding the really freaking irritating bugs in the mobile g+ app!! the feed NO LONGER flies to the top after you've scrolled down a good bit. it also NO LONGER flies to the top immediately following a re-share of a post!! w00000t!! thanks for putting up with what i'm sure was many complaints about this unusable mobile app!! it works perfectly now!! i don't even care about the extra functionality, though that's nice. all i really wanted was for it to just work how it's supposed to, AND NOW IT DOES!!!! thanks, +Vic Gundotra, +Natalie Villalobos, the folks running the +Google+ Help account, and everyone else i bugged about this, as well as everyone else involved in the continuous work daily to make this free product work better than it did yesterday. bravo!! having a team that hears input from the community loud & clear & even interacts with them about it honestly when possible, sets you apart from all the other guys. big smiles!!
 
Thanks for the updates and further integration, +Virgil Dobjanschi! The one integration I'm still missing to-date though is having the ability to use Google Voice technology to make calls to phones via the Hangouts app. I've been having to use a third-party app, and keep wondering why this is always on the back-burner and not at the front. The ability to make phone calls via VOIP and wifi for no charge is... well... brilliant. 

But back to the beginning, seriously thanks for all the stuff you and the team continue to do to make the experience better! 
 
i already had those app may be before Google+ Circles have is own!  remember i always say ahead of time! both FB and G+ knew where i am sharing location which i can not do that!  that is the only safety that i can get! if you had Die hard Friends who Safety my self it self the only i can say! i can keep that words... Google+Circles it is getting wider and bigger but slowly...   
 
+Joe Wehry but then you can't share those particular photos from that album as an individual post. I explained my reason in details earlier. Thanks though. 
 
+Allan Wong why not? After upload to album, go to Google plus, open the album, select the few images you want to share and then share them as a post.
 
+Joe Wehry thanks again
but that way people wouldn't know that those photos are from that album.  
it's different sharing mechanism from the way it's done on the desktop side.  on the desktop version you can:
1. Upload to specific album
2. share those photos of that batch right away
3. final outcome of the post is those photos only and showing them from what album

hope you get me.  a lot more informative this way as it should be.
 
+Joe Wehry ahh. also that way the photos are being duplicated to "Photos from Posts" as well.  just in case if you are unaware of it.
:)  thanks for the workaround though

currently i have to go to the desktop version of G+ on my phone to do what I need to do, very difficult but it works.
 
Yeah. I hate the duplication part. It used to drive me insane. Now I just ignore it. 
 
I've asked to get latitude back. I didn't asked for more features for it in G+.
 
Where does Picasa and Picasa Web fit into the scheme of things? I have photos all over the place and would like it to get to the point where everything is the same. Right now there is local desktop storage and three cloud storage sites.

I love the cloud aspect, but also want to be able to edit locally (much faster) and create hard copy backups.
 
It is pretty dumb that you can pull to refresh your stream but not in a post... don't fragment the experience plz
 
I can't find where to enable gdrive picture sharing. Can it be due to gapps domain restrictions? Or am I looking in the wrong place?
 
 Can you tel me when the Update (app) for the Iphone come's
 
Update not yet available in my Canadian GooglePlay.

Can't help wondering why we are served last when a Google update is announced.
 
+Virgil Dobjanschi  I know this is a long shot, but could you please pass along to the Android mobile apps team to pleas make their apps more theme-able?  Hangouts, for instance have so many hard coded colors that theming is apparently impossible according to devs.  Google Calendar apparently only requires the removal of a few lines of code, and Google Play Music and Gmail are partially theme-able.
thanks
 
+Virgil Dobjanschi when you will check in to a place you will see a blue screen on top of the screen. why you see here a map with locations where you can check in?
 
I forced the 4.1 download from the AndroidPolice website.
I've got the brand new Google+ and the differences are barely noticible for my use.

I'm a little disappointed.
I could have waited some more.
 
Problem: not all of the photos in my Drive folders are showing up in the associated G+ albums.  All are missing photos.
 
I am having the exact same problem.....google+ is failing to display MOST of the photos I have in Drive. Within a GIVEN folder that has, say, 20 photos ALL of the same format (e.g. jpeg), only like 3 will show up in google+ representation of that directory.
 
+Virgil Dobjanschi how can you scroll up to the top with one touch? I used to be able to do so by clicking on the refresh button.
Now it is really hard to keep scrolling up especially if you are deep down the stream.
Waiting for +Google+ to support chromecast in order to chromecast photos and videos, same with the drive app :)
 
One thing missing from the G+ photos experience on android is how hangout albums don't show all photos shared in that particular hangout. It only shows the photos you have personally shared. On the desktop this doesn't happen: you'll be able to see all photos. What's the reason for this discrepancy? Will it be fixed?
 
I just love how the Google+ app is evolving. With every update I fall in love more. Keep up the good work.
 
All of this is great, but +Virgil Dobjanschi why can I still not cut/paste text from the G+ mobile client? Things like URLs embedded in comments and such don't always hyperlink properly... seems like a major UI oversight... cut/paste!
 
+Virgil Dobjanschi - Great new option however from a Google paying customer point of view, why is it that Google Apps users always get left behind. As a paying customer, I don't understand why lots of changes do not include Apps users? So great that new features are coming along however it just sucks so bad that I cannot access them despite paying a monthly fee?

C'mon Google, innovation is great when its not fragmented....
 
Please include an option to change the color of the map for better viewing
 
My location keeps being updated from my tablet at home while my phone and I are at work...any way to fix this ? It used to work fine in Latitude with the provided option not to report location from a specific device...
 
Unfortunately for me the recent update has removed thr ability to switch pages. So not only is it not easier it is impossible.
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