It’s been about three months since Google launched the Google+ social network, and today the company is removing the beta label. Anyone can sign up for the service. Google also launched a few major updates today, including some new features that are available in a web browser and a few that are available on mobile devices.
The biggest change for mobile users is support for Hangouts. These are group video chatrooms that you could previously set up at a moment’s notice on any computer with a webcam, mic, and supported web browser. Now you can join a Hangout using the Google+ app for Android. The feature is also coming soon to the Google+ iOS app.
If you’re in the US or India you can also now post to Google+ or receive notifications using SMS instead of a mobile app. The mobile apps for Android and iOS also let you send a message directly to an individual by typing +username. And the iOS app now lets you add a +1 to a comment, not just a post. The Android app will get this feature soon.
Other mobile updates include the ability to edit your profile photo, customize notifications, and share photos using the Messenger service (previously known as Huddle). Android users can also now move the Google+ app to an SD card.
The desktop version of Google+ also gets some nifty new features including:
- Search (seriously, how was this not available before?)
- Record or “broadcast” Hangouts (10 people can chat, but there’s no limit on how many people can watch)
- Share documents, a sketchpad, or share your screen in a Hangout
You can sign up for Google+ at plus.google.com.