The official Google+ client for Android has received a timely update (to v1.0.7) with a plethora of useful features that would surely help it compete better with some of the other hot-running social apps among mobile users (Facebook in particular). For starters, it adds support for the much anticipated group video chat feature better known as Hangouts. Also added to the updated client of Google+ for Android are some other sought-after features which we shall delve into after the break.
If you have an Android device with a front-facing camera and Android 2.3 or above, then the news of the addition of Hangouts to the Google+ client would surely delight you. For other users, it’s just a matter of time before this feature is available for their devices as well. We put the Hangouts feature to test on our Nexus S with quite satisfactory results. To our (rather pleasant) surprise, an active Hangout session keeps running in the background. To alert you of your active Hangout, the app displays a notification icon in the status bar.
Glancing at some of the other features included with the updated Google+ client for Android, we find that users can now set their profile pictures from within the app. Other noteworthy additions made to the updated client include sharing photos in Huddle (now known as Messenger), long pressing on posts in stream to +1, share and mute them and improved SMS support (for users in India only). In addition, the app brings enhanced public search and App2SD support along with extensive settings for your Google+ notifications.
To set a new profile photo, just tap on the Profile button, tap on the profile photo thumbnail, then pick one from the gallery or simply grab a fresh one instantly from your camera.
As mentioned earlier, Huddle is now called Messenger and allows you to share photos with your contacts. You will notice a camera icon besides the text message field on the conversation screen. Tap on this icon to pick an image from the gallery or capture a new photo. Tapping a shared image displays it in full screen.
To enable/disable notifications for selective activities in your Google+ network, go to Menu > Settings > Notification Settings.
To install Google+ app on your device for the very first time, or to upgrade the existing installation, visit the Android Market link provided below.