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Google+ iOS app gets more social with new features

In line with changes made to its Google+ Web site, the search giant has beefed up the social network's iOS app with several new features and enhancements.

Google has enhanced its Google+ iPhone app with some of the same features recently unveiled on the social network's Web site.

Google tweaked its Google+ iPhone app with several new features.
Google tweaked its Google+ iPhone app with several new features. Google

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The revamped Google+ app now lets you join a Hangout, a new videoconferencing service in which you can chat with people in your circles. Though you can join an existing Hangout via the mobile app, you still need to open Google+ on your PC to start a new Hangout.

The group IM feature formerly known as Huddle has been rebranded Messenger (not to be confused with Windows or Yahoo Messenger) and now offers you the ability to send a photo along with a message. Google also said that it's improved the reliability of Messenger.

Just as you can click the +1 option to share a post, you can now do the same thing to share a comment to a post. And as on the Google+ site, you can now share a post with just a single individual rather than entire circles or everyone. You'll also find it easier to mention the name of any Google+ member in one of your circles in your own posts.

Google has improved the ability to search for public profiles via its mobile app so that you can now find virtually anyone with a Google+ profile.

Finally, the notification settings have been tweaked to give you more control. You can choose to receive notifications for mentions, shares, comments, or even comments on a post that you already commented on. Additionally, you can opt to be notified if someone adds you to a circle or wants to tag or comment on one of your photos.

Despite all these changes, there's still one improvement Google hasn't yet cooked up. Though the iOS app has been working on the iPad (and the iPod Touch) thanks to an update in early August, Google still doesn't offer an iPad-specific version that can take advantage of the tablet's larger screen size.