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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Google+ for iOS gets big update

Google has updated the Google+ app for iOS today, bringing along with it a lot of the changes that we saw Google make to its social network earlier this week. The app has added the Hangouts feature to its mobile app, meaning that you can now join a hangout from your iPhone or iPad.

Joining a Hangout seems like a pretty cool way to use the app on a mobile device as there are already so many ways to video conference on the desktop. A Hangout on your phone could be a very low-cost (in terms of time and effort) way to quickly get in touch with a friend or friends and make plans.
We tested the feature out and it seemed to work well over both WiFi and 3G. If you have more than one person in the hangout you can switch between them in the main view and there is a small ‘roll call’ section that shows everyone in the Hangout. All in all a pretty decent implementation.
The Messenger app has also replaced the Huddle app, as it did in the web version of Google+. There has also been a lot of tweaks to the push notification settings, allowing you to toggle on and off specific types of activity right from the settings.
This means that you can now choose exactly when you get a notification and when you don’t. This can be really helpful if you have a lot of random followers that are not in your Circles, yet insist on barraging you with messages.
There is also a handy Map view in your profile that will display your past homes if you choose to enter their locations.
 You can also pass a post along to an individual person, rather than just to a Circle, which is a nice addition. Google has also brought along the improvements to the Search portion of Google+, allowing you to search by topics and keywords, not just profiles.
There are also various bug fixes and ‘reliability improvements’. This is a nice array of changes to the Google+ app bringing it up to date with most of the new features that Google has been introducing lately.
Do you use the Google+ app on your iDevices regularly? If so, do you see yourself joining a hangout from the device itself?
You can grab the new iOS app update here. Let us know what you think in the comments below.


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