We expect SMS integration will only be available on Android as iOS doesn’t allow the necessary hooks to pull off the feature, which makes the platform that much more appealing for fans of the Hangouts service.
Google has updated Google+ today with a couple notable and highly requested new features for Hangouts on Air users. The first big new feature is the ability to rewind live broadcasts, allowing users to navigate back to the beginning of a broadcast regardless of when they started watching. Other improvements include higher quality video for those joining Hangouts on Air from a mobile device, as well new auto-playing broadcasts that don’t require users to refresh the page when aHangout starts.
Google did note that “it may take longer to set up your Hangout On Air. For example: the ‘Start broadcasting’ button may be grayed out for a bit, before it turns red.” That change is to provide users with enough time to get everything in place before starting the Hangout.
Google appears to have been able to implement the changes by now processing the video in real-time rather than after the fact, which also means it’s promising Hangouts will be instantly uploaded and ready to watch on YouTube the second you go off air: Read more
Google’s social network Google+ is now open for teenagers, according to Google’s Vice President of Product Management Bradley Horowitz’s announcement in a post today. Everyone who is old enough for a Google Account (13-years-old and up in most countries) can now sign up for Google+. The executive boasted the many security and privacy features of Google+ that help establish the difference between friends, acquaintances and strangers— a must for underage users.
Between strong user protections and teen-focused content, it’s our hope that young adults will feel at home (and have some fun) on Google+. And of course, we do have at least one thing in common with our newest users: we’re both busy growing up.
The Google+ service, he argued, has “awesome features that teens really want” whilst encouraging safe behavior “through appropriate defaults and in-product help.” In addition, abuse-reporting tools are easy to find and use, Horowitz noted. Details on age requirements on Google Accounts are available here. Teens can also get more information on Google+ safety features in the newly launched Google+ Safety Center, with interesting resources available for educators, teenagers and parents.
Google is adamant on accelerating work on its Google+ social network. By doing so, the company has already stepped on people’s toes. An upcoming Q&A feature from Google does not seem to be aimed squarely at Quora, a popular question-and-answer website, but the Quora people understandably cann0t be too happy about this development. See, according toVentureBeat, the search company is trying out a new capability called “Ask on Google+” allowing you to ask friends about the topics you are searching for. It is akin to Facebook Questions, with one huge advantage: One accesses it easily at the bottom of one’s search results:
Click the link to ask your friends any question related to restaurants, movies, how to make friends on Google+, or other topics. Your question will automatically be posted to your Google+ stream for your friends to answer.
Granted, it is nowhere near as complete as Quora and it lacks the basic component, a Q&A engine. In its current implementation, asking stuff on Google+ from your search results simply puts up an overlay window with a pre-populated Google+ post related to your search query. For example, if I were searching for “2012 Android smartphones,” clicking the “Ask on Google+” link would create the “Hi there! I have a question about 2012 Android smartphones…” message. You can edit the message, select your audience, or add a location, photo, video or URL. The folks with whom you shared the message will not be able to select from custom choices like with Facebook Answers. Still, it certainly does not mean crowd-sourcing answers from your Google+ friends will not take some allure off Quora and similar services— quite the contrary.
No, we did not photoshop that arrow in. In an effort to push Google Plus, which just went into public beta today, Google is now literally pointing to the Plus link with an arrow. Also, below the search box you will find a link to signup. With Google’s 1,100,000,000 pageviews a day (according to Website Outlook, so we’re not sure how accurate that really is) they’re bound to bring in some traffic. What are you waiting for; sign up!
Google rolled out nine new features pertained to its social thing dubbed Google+. Per the official blog post by Google’s head of engineering Vic Gundotra, the service is no longer in limited beta. Beginning today, everyone can join the party at google.com/+ – no invitation required. Yes, Facebook’s worst nightmare comes true just three months following the service’s introduction.
Next up, Google’s search expertise comes to Google+. The big search box now returns relevant people, posts and web content. The popular Hangout feature has gotten lots of enhancements. For example, developers can now take advantage of the new Google+ Hangouts APIs to write more integrated, immersive apps. Google-created Hangout extras (still rough around the edges) include screensharing, sketchpad, Google Docs integration and named hangouts. Give it a try by clicking the “Try Hangouts with extras” link in the green room.
Even more interesting, it is now possible to broadcast a hangout for the world wide web to see. They call it Hangouts on Air and even though you can broadcast and record your session, there’s still that nagging nine-per-hangout limit. Of course, an unlimited number of people can be spectators of your live broadcast.
Another cool addition: You can join a hangout from your mobile phone, by finding an active hangout in the Stream of the Google+ app and tapping “Join”. This works on Android 2.3+ phones with front-facing cameras, but Google said iOS support is “coming soon”. The aforementioned features will be rolling out globally over the next day (not days, per usual), Google said.
Last, but not the least, Dave Girouard, a Google Apps guy, announced on Twitter that Google+ is coming to business and education customers soon, indicating that Google+ will be rolled out to Google Apps users. “New stuff on G+ today that biz/edu will love! Working hard to bring G+ to Google Apps in the very near future!”, his tweet reads. In our opinion, this could be a game-changer in the social media landscape, probably putting Facebook on the defensive – especially when Google begins selling and promoting Google+ apps on the Apps Marketplace.