Google+, for all the criticism it has garnered from the "hip" tech crowd, has been an incredibly important product for the search giant since its unveiling back in 2011. Remember when you had to get an invite to join Google+? How far we've come.

But Google+ quickly became more than just Google+. The Hangouts messaging platform and, later, Google+ Photos were key leaps forward for Google in two areas where the company was arguably becoming stagnant.


Update: Anime provider Crunchyroll has gained Chromecast support as well.


The 2014 FIFA World Cup will start next week, making this just the right time for WatchESPN and MLS Matchday to roll out their new ability to stream matches straight to Chromecast. You still need a cable subscription to enjoy any of the content, but the feature prevents having to reach for the TV remote and navigate that troublesome guide for the correct channel.


If you hadn't noticed already, any pictures shared with or by your friends during a Google Hangouts chat will automatically sync up with Google+ Photos, organized into albums by conversation. These images are uploaded even if automatic back up is disabled inside the Google+ app. New albums can be found under the "Albums" tab and are titled Hangout: [Your Name]  ● [Contact's Name] unless you explicitly gave your hangout a title, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding them.