Google today announced that, finally, its update for the Google+ Android app has arrived. The update has already been released for iOS devices, and now the Android Google+ app has a similarly redesigned interface. Google also revealed why the Android app was delayed while the iPhone app was released weeks ago – Google has implemented the ability to start mobile Hangouts directly from the Android Google+ app.
The announcements came on the Official Google Blog, where Google Engineering Senior Vice President Vic Gundotra revealed the new interface and features. The app’s interface is almost identical to the new iOS version of the app, conforming to Google’s new “simpler, more beautiful” design philosophy. It adds a navigation ribbon, a stream featuring full-screen media, the ability to edit posts inline, and +1 buttons all over the place.
Though mobile Hangouts have been a part of the Google+ app for a while, users were limited to joining Hangouts that were already in progress. With the updated app, users will be able to start a Hangout from their Phone. From Gundotra’s post:
To get started, tap “Hangout” in the (new) navigation ribbon, add some friends and tap “Start.” We’ll ring their phones (if you want), and if someone misses the hangout, they can ring you back with a single tap.
The picture below shows what people invited to a mobile Hangout will see when their phones alert them. The updated app is available now in the Google Play store.