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Google+ iPhone app updated with Hangout support

Google's iPhone app for its new social network Google+ has just received a hefty update. Key among the new features of the Google+ app is support for Hangouts, Google's answer to multiuser videoconferencing.

Hangouts has seen a lot of use among the TUAW staff so far, and being able to use the feature on an iOS device is a big step forward. Google said support for Hangouts was "coming soon" a few days ago, and it's here now. [Commenters point out that the support only extends to joining an existing Hangout, not initiating a new one. –Ed.]

This update also rebrands Huddle as Messenger, and Messenger now supports sending photos. MacStories has a good look at some of the other tweaks, including new settings for push notifications and a preview of how Hangouts performs on the iPhone.

The Google+ app still hasn't been optimized for the iPad, so your choices remain running the mobile version of the site (which is missing many features) in Safari or running the blown-up iPhone version. Neither solution offers a particularly compelling experience on the iPad, however. With Facebook's iPad app still MIA even after f8, Google has a real opportunity to address a huge userbase that neither it nor Facebook have properly targeted yet. If the company's goal is to "out-social" Facebook, a Google+ iPad app would go a long way to accomplishing that.

Changes in the latest update are outlined below.

  • Join Hangouts from the mobile app
  • Huddle is now Messenger
  • Send photos in Messenger
  • +1 on comments
  • Reliability improvements in Messenger
  • Granular push notification settings
  • Map view in profile for places you've lived
  • Improved +mention support
  • Share a post with individuals
  • Improved public search for people
  • Various bug and performance improvements

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