New Apps for Google+ Hangouts Move Out of Preview
In addition to launching new Activity Reports this morning, Google has also announced the arrival of several apps for Google+ Hangouts.
Hangouts is arguably the standout feature of Google’s social network. The tool lets you chat face-to-face with customers, share a screen with team members, or broadcast to hundreds of fans through Hangouts On Air.
New non-game apps include SlideShare, which lets you review slide presentations and other documents with others, and Cacoo, which is used for collaborative wire-framing and diagramming. For more casual Hangouts, the company has introduced new games, including the poker-themed Aces Hangout, Scoot & Doodle — a drawing game — and Google Effects, which lets you try on new eyewear or facial hair.
When you start a Hangout, you’ll notice a new Apps button at the top of your screen where you’ll be able to view all recent and featured apps. According to a Google+ post by product manager Amit Fulay, the new apps will be rolled out gradually.
Google also noted that the Hangouts API is moving out of preview mode, allowing developers to launch and share apps with the entire Google+ user base — certainly a big step for the social network. Developers can also add a new Hangout button to their website to promote their app.
It’s too early to tell how this will affect growth on Google+, but it certainly boosts the appeal of Hangouts for both brands and consumers.
[Image credit: David Mellis]