Google+ already lets you upload RAW photos to the service, but now the rendered JPGs from those RAW files are going to look a lot better. Working with the boffins at NIK software (which Google bought when it acquired Snapseed), the G+ RAW conversions have been tweaked to give some dramatically better results.
Your browser can’t show RAW files, because they’re not images; they’re just a bag of data from the camera’s sensor waiting to be interpreted into a picture, just like you can’t hear a CD by holding it up to your ear. These huge (usually 45MB+ files) are converted to JPGs to be shown to you in the browser, just like Aperture and Lightroom convert your RAWs to show them on your screen.
The new engine can accept files from 70 camera models from Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic and Olympus, and the results can be seen above or in some before/after shots on Googler Ronald Wotzlaw’s G+ page.
One thing to note: any edits you make to your uploaded RAW files while in Google’s new online Snapseed editor are carried out on these JPG renderings – the RAWs are there purely as backup and source material.