The new Google Messenger is real! It's not called Babel, or Google Talk, but "Hangouts." It also isn't the unified messenger we've all wanted - maybe it will be someday, but Hangouts is strictly a Google Talk replacement - there's no SMS or Google Voice integration.
What Hangouts does have going for it is that it is really pretty. It supports group messaging, pictures, video chat, and even has read receipts! Read More
Today, Google announced a new look for the Google+ stream. Gone is the weird, bubbly look that we've had for forever. The cards-centric UI that we've seen on phones and tablets is now coming to the desktop as well. You can select a one, two, or three-column layout and each individual card can flip over with a slick animation and provide more information and options.
Google's also improving its search and tagging functionality. Read More
Readers, Babel no more. As first reported by a historically credible member of The Verge forums and confirmed today by a Tech Radar source, Google's unified messaging platform will be known as Hangouts when it's officially unveiled, and may launch as soon as Google I/O. Tech Radar's contact provided a screenshot that further lends credence to the new name: nestled among the emoticons and toolbar of the alleged interface, an expanded drop down menu includes particularly conspicuous options referencing "Hangouts," which is the closest thing to a dead giveaway that I can think of. Read More
One of the most common complaints against Google's Play Store is the lack of certain content or functionality in countries outside the US. Google has been making progress in expanding access to other corners of the globe, though. You may remember, for example, that Play Books hit France just last month after Play Movies opened for the French in March and for Spain in June.
Today, Google (finally) brought Play Movie rentals to Germany, much to the delight of German users who have been asking for more Play content for quite some time. Read More
Google has released an update to its social network app on Android today that should please Hangout enthusiasts both young and old. For starters, now you can join Hangouts on Air via your mobile device (like the one we use to broadcast our weekly podcast every Thursday at 8pm EST hint hint). This is fantastic news as Hangouts on Air are among the most useful application of the already-awesome Hangouts feature. Read More
Just as some were speculating that Google's invite-only signup system for their latest social networking venture would be its eventual downfall, the Google Mobile blog announced that Google+ is transitioning into beta, bringing open signups with it.
That isn't the only change Google has cooked up, though. Google+ has been updated with a host of new features in an effort by Google to show how fast they can implement users' "most requested features." Read More