Google‘s own Facebook rival, Google+, is now open for everyone. The social website has been through a 90-day test period, where you could only join via invitation from those who were already members. During these 90 days Google has made 91 different improvements, and 9 of these has now been rolled out in conjunction with the public launch of the site.

Among the new services or improvements is the ability to have “Hangouts On Air”, where you start a normal hangout, and you’ll have the option to broadcast and record your session. Once you’re “On Air,” up to nine others can join your hangout (as usual), and anyone can watch your live broadcast.

Hangouts On Air: Stream View (left), Full-screen Mode (right)

Hangouts have also come to the Android phone, so you will now be able to video chat with someone and share photos, videos and other stuff via the smart phone’s Google+ app.

Hangouts on your phone: Stream View (left), Green Room (center), Portrait Mode (right)

“Hangouts with extras” offers some new services that allow users to share the following:

  • Screensharing: for when you want to show off your vacation photos, your high score, your lesson plan or whatever else is on your screen
  • Sketchpad: for when you want to draw, doodle, or just scribble together
  • Google Docs: for when you want to write, plan or present something with others
  • Named Hangouts: for when you want to join or create a public hangout about a certain topic (like fashion or music or sports…)

Another feature that Google has added is “Search in Google+”, which adds the ability to search content on Google+.

If you do not have an account with Google+ yet, you can take a tour and sign up here.


(via Official Google Blog)