Google+ App Updates Boost Hangout Options

An update to the Google+ iOS and Android apps rolled out Wednesday, with some new Hangout experiences in tow.

Android users can now create and join Hangouts from their smartphone or tablet. More notably, however, they can also join Hangouts on Air, which allows chatters to stream video calls with people from around the world, instead of just a close group of friends.

Hangouts on Air, unveiled in May, also records to the Web video chats between up to 10 people, automatically uploading the broadcast to the user’s YouTube channel, and adding a YouTube link to the Hangout post in Google+. The formerly desktop-only feature is now open to all Android users.

The Android version was the first to roll out the ability to join Hangouts on Air from a mobile device, a Google spokeswoman said, “but rest assured an iOS update is just around the corner.”

Additionally, mobile Google+ will now allow teens to use Hangouts on their iOS or Android devices. Google provided teen access to Google+ earlier this year.

Other minor updates include Android’s floating timestamp in the photos view, shortcuts for post creation, and the ability to report abuse in Events, as well as Instant Upload bug fixes to improve performance on iOS.

In iOS, meanwhile, users will have the option to open Web links in Chrome rather than Apple’s default Safari browser, if you have the Google app installed.

Both Google+ apps are currently available for free download in the Google Play store and Apple’s App Store.

For more, see PCMag’s review of Google+, as well as the Google+ app for iPhone, Android, and iPad (slideshow below).

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