According to a post on the official Google blog earlier today, Google has launched an update to the iOS version of the Google+ application for both the iPhone and iPad. Including within the updated application, Google+ users can launch or join a Hangouts video chat with up to nine friends on either platform. Within the settings, users have the ability to setup push notifications when invited to a hangout. This plays a ringing sound to notify someone about a video chat. When a user invites a friend to a hangout, the user also has the option of ringing their friends in order to get them to join the video chat. If someone misses a hangout notification, they can simply call the Google+ user back to connect in a new video chat. If the Google+ user also has an Apple TV, the entire video chat can be streamed to the television in the living room via AirPlay.
The updated software also offers Events support on the iPhone to browse upcoming and past events as well as create new events. When creating a new Google+ event, the application uses location data to automatically fill out the GPS location of the event. In addition to setting up a title and description, the Google+ user can also choose from a variety of preset theme pictures to go with the event.
However, there doesn’t appear to be a way to upload a custom theme picture on the iPhone version of the application; a feature found on the Web version of Google+. Regarding upcoming and past events, the Google+ user can upload photos, add comments or check the list of people that have already agreed to attend. Pictures are always linked to past events, thus it serves as another method of categorization for users.
This is also the first version of the iOS application that has been specifically designed with the iPad layout in mind. Prior to this point, iPad users had to utilize Safari or another Web browser to access Google+ across the entire screen of the tablet. The iPad version of the application is very similar in design to the Android version and works in both portrait and landscape view.
In addition, users can pinch-to-zoom in order to expand the size of an individual post for easier access to the comment section and the +1 button. Using two fingers, a Google+ user can drag and drop an item within a stream of posts in order to republish the content within their feed. The user can also customize the content within the feed by tapping the header in order to modify the current circle that’s feeding content into the stream.
According to Wired, the iPad version of the application does lack the Events creation tool in addition to Google+ Messenger. However, users can still alter RSVP status on events from the iPad interface. While the iPad version does supports video chat with Google+ Hangouts, it requires the iPad 2 or new iPad due to the necessity of the camera.
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