Bonnie Cha

Recent Posts by Bonnie Cha

Google+ Android App All Dolled Up and Ready to Hangout

Google released an updated version of its Google+ app for Android today, and it sure looks pretty.

The revamped social networking app presents a sleeker user interface that’s easy on the eyes, with a bolder font and smooth animations.

Photos and video are also displayed in full screen in your stream, for a more visually appealing experience. If you happen to come across a photo in your stream that strikes your fancy, you even have the ability to download the image right from Google+ and use it as your wallpaper.

Google also made some changes to make the app easier to use. You can now “+1” a post right from the main page, and edit posts inline. And a new navigation ribbon that slides in and out gives you quicker access to the app’s other functions.

All of these enhancements were rolled out to the iOS (Apple’s mobile operating system) app earlier this month, but one feature unique to the Android version is the ability to create a “Hangout” video chatroom.

Hangout is a function in Google+ that allows you to make a video call to a group of people. Previously, you could only join a Hangout call in progress using the app, but now you can create them using the new navigation ribbon. There’s even an option to ring a contact’s phone when a Hangout request is sent.

Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of social at Google, said all of today’s improvements were made in the company’s quest to create “a simpler, more beautiful Google.” I’d say the company was pretty successful in achieving that goal.

You can try it out for yourself by downloading the new Google+ app for Android from the Google Play Store.

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”