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Hangouts on your phone  (Source: The Official Google Blog)

Hangouts On Air  (Source: The Official Google Blog)

Screensharing (Left) and Sketchpad (Right)  (Source: The Official Google Blog)

Google+ Search  (Source: The Official Google Blog)

Google Docs (Left) and Named Hangouts (Right)  (Source: The Official Google Blog)
The invite-only field trial is over, but Google will continue making new features and updates

Since Google+'s release on June 28, it has been in an invite-only field trial where invited users could try it out and make suggestions along the way. After nearly 90 days in field trial mode, Google is opening its social network up to everyone, and has made a total of 100 updates to enhance the experience.

While 91 of these updates have been made throughout the months, Google is releasing nine new features today that totals it up to 100 according to The Official Google Blog.

Most of the new features are Hangouts-related. Hangouts lets users chat via live video, and it has been used for cooking classes, game shows, and just catching up with friends/family. Google wants to boost the Hangouts experience with a few new features, such as Hangouts on your phone, Hangouts On Air, Named Hangouts, Hangouts APIs and Hangouts with Extras like screensharing, Sketchpad, and Google Docs.

Hangouts on your phone is exactly what the title suggests -- video Hangouts on your mobile device. It allows people to video chat while on-the-go, and they can do so by simply finding an active Hangout in the Stream, and tapping "join." Users must have Android 2.3 or greater with front-facing cameras, and starting today, the app is available on the Android Market. According to Google, iOS support is on the way soon.

Hangouts On Air is a public broadcast feature that allows users to speak to a large audience or be the spectator. To do this, just start a normal hangout, and the option to broadcast and record your session will become available. Select this option, and once you're "On Air," up to nine other people can join the broadcast. Google is currently limiting the number of broadcasters, but any Google+ member can tune in as spectators. On Wednesday, September 21, Google+ will host its very first On Air Hangout with American musician

Hangouts with Extras consists of screensharing, which allows users to show off what's on their screen such as vacation photos or a high score; Sketchpad allows users to doodle or draw; Google Docs gives users the option to write or plan something with others, and Named Hangouts is a Hangout that is associated with a certain topic like music or sports.

Hangouts API allows developers to build new kinds of apps and games for Google+ along with other creative individuals.

In addition to the various Hangouts-related features, Google+ now also features a search option, which will return relevant people and posts as well as info from the Web. For instance, a Google+ member who is interested in photography can search "photography" and find people who are also into that topic as well as a myriad of photos.

The final new feature for today is opening Google+ up to everyone outside of the invite-only field trial. While Google+ is not completely finished with its updates and new features, it wants to open the social network for everyone to try out.

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By p05esto on 9/21/2011 12:19:30 AM , Rating: 2
Another boring social media site I have no interest in and will never use. I haven't checked Facebook in about 4 months and to me it feels like it died or something. Everything in Facebook seems automated and bot driven, like the marketers have taken over and now it's a cesspool of advertising and gimmicks. lol, anyway that's my thought. Who cares right? Why am I even posting comments on this article, this is "social" right? I guess that's ironic or shoot me.

RE: snore
By dark matter on 9/21/2011 8:00:19 AM , Rating: 3
You would be correct. Every two penny SEO company is flogging "social media" to unsuspecting clients, even "Jims Hardware Store" is told he must be on the social bandwagon.

It's been invaded by everyone "liking" stupid sayings and jokes, not realising those behind them are marketeers.

And then you have all the data mining that goes on. I've never put a photo up, never put any of my genuine details.

And yes, just like my space, the corporations have taken it over, and are now going to squeeze every cent and penny out of it until it bleeds. And being money driven they will keep pushing and pushing until the very soul has been driven from facebook.

You can smell it in the air.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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