Google+ is making its public debut Tuesday with a bevy of life-inspired updates to Hangouts, the social network’s group-video-chat-with-a-twist feature. We’ve always been keen on Google+ Hangouts, but a recent update provided some extras that make the experience even better. Now you can share your screen, collaborate in Google Docs, and even draw together in SketchUp. Additionally, theHangouts API provides developers with the ability to integrate Hangouts into their own web apps.
Google+ users can now join Hangouts from their Android devices. (Google says iOS support is coming soon.) Select users can turn video chats into public broadcasts. Plus, users can also share their screens, use a sketchpad to doodle with participants, collaborate on or present a Google Doc, and join or create Named Hangouts.
To see a demonstration of the new features, check out the video above or just read on for more information.
1. Screen Sharing :
2. Google Docs Integration :
3. SketchUp Integration :
Users can access this latter batch of updates by clicking the “Try Hangouts with extras” button in the Hangouts green room. “The extras are still under construction,” Gundotra explains, “but we wanted to preview these features and get your feedback sooner versus later.”
Google has also released the Developer Preview of the Google+ Hangout API. This adds to the basic set of APIs released last week. “It enables you to add your own experiences to Hangouts and instantly build real-time applications, just like our first application, the built-in YouTube player,” says Richard Dunn, Google+ platform for Hangouts technical lead.
Of course, the timing of Google+’s public launch, the Hangouts enhancements and API, the mobile updates and the rollout of Google+ search is not lost on us. Facebook is set to release a slew of significant updates at its f8 developer conference this Thursday.