Google just rolled out a beefy update to the official Google+ iPhone app which includes the ability to enter a video chat while mobile with other mobile users or users on a personal computer with a webcam. If a friend starts a hangout stream on Google+, the user can simply click “Join” and the video screen appears on the iPhone. As new people join the hangout, notifications pop up on the iPhone screen and the user can add any of these people to a circle during the video stream. The app also allows the users to switch between the two cameras on the smartphone as well as mute the audio in case the user needs to switch to headphones for a private call.
In addition to mobile hangout support, the Huddle feature has been rebranded to Messenger and allows for photo support. Photos can be snapped immediately or brought up from the photo library. Users also now have the ability to +1 comments within the app as well as view a map within the profile for previous homes throughout the life of the profile. Google has also given the user vastly more control over specific notifications. For instance, users can turn notifications on and off when being tagged within a photo or when another user requests a tag. Other notification tweaks include comments, shares, mentions, follow-up comments or when another user adds them to a circle.
Beyond a smattering of bug fixes to round out the new version, this update doesn’t include iPad support. Users will need to use the Web version of Google+ or the iPhone app in zoom mode if browsing on an iPad. Rival social network Facebook has yet to release an iPad-optimized version as well and will likely continue to rely on the Web version of the site in the future.