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Google+ arriving on Android, Apple tablets

A tablet app offers a richer view than the smartphone apps that have been available. Also new: Google+ Events that handles invitations, scheduling, and collecting party photos from everyone there.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Google+ has been available only through Web browsers and mobile-phone apps, but Google today announced tablet versions of apps for Android and iOS slates.

The app features the same photo-first look currently in the smartphone app, letting people slide photos left or right to see what's posted in their stream. The tablet version shows photos popular on Google+ in larger versions, said Vic Gundotra, a Google senior vice president speaking at the company's Google I/O show here today.

"We're stylizing the stream so it makes it very easy to scan while still highlighting what's important," Gundotra said. The app also includes hangouts that resemble the desktop videoconferencing approach, with multiple small faces across the bottom of the screen and the person speaking shown in the main view.

Other changes are coming, too, including new notifications that appear on the left side of the screen under the list of Google+ actions. New features are also coming to the Android smartphone app, Gundotra added.

Google+ is increasing in usage, and mobile is important for the company. "We now have more users engaging in G+ from mobile than from the desktop," Gundotra said.

There now are 150 million monthly active users of Google+, and more than half of them sign in daily, Gundotra said. They spend an average of 12 minutes a day in the Google+ stream.

He also announced a new Google+ feature for parties and other gatherings called Google+ Events. With it, people can invite others to an event, and if they accept it'll add an event to their calendars. It also gathers photos people take at the event and publishes them on a page for that event.