This week in Google+ updates

g+Another week, another batch of Google+ upgrades. They range from the minute to the innovative, and we’ll let you be the judge of how much they will actually impact your G+ time. Here’s a quick look at some improvements and features that hit the site this week.

The black navigation bar

This is a pretty minimal adjustment, but worth noting given the mild aggravation it’s caused netbook users. The Google+ black bar now floats at the top of your screen and will adjust depending on your screen size so you can read posts more easily. Before the change, you’d lose sight of the black bar whenever you scrolled down. Now it’s there at all times to direct you to your most used Google Web properties. It will be rolling out over the next few days.

YouTube Hangouts

Did a black bar upgrade fail to excite you? The new Hangout feature added to YouTube might. Now when you choose to share a video, there is an option to watch it in a Google+ hangout with your friends. Gchat already has a function like this, where you can send a URL and watch the video in a pop-up mini screen above your chat box. But for visible and audible reactions from friends you can now watch videos directly in a Hangout. It’s just one more way Google+ is trying to make video chatting a little less awkward.

youtube hangout

Email signature

App publisher WiseStamp has a new tool that lets you insert your latest Google+ update into your email signature. The Google Plus Email App embeds a box with the G+ icon that pulls your status in. You can read more about it here.

Red notification icon

Google+ is still fairly new, but the red notification icon in the upper right hand corner has already become…well, iconic. And now it’s getting the animated treatment. If you thought the black bar was a minimal update, then this might not excite you but we thought it was kind of cool. When you get a new notification, it will scroll to the respective number. Check out the video below to see it in action. 

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