Google+ Search

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Google+ Search

See the search box? Looks familiar, right? It should, it's search, finally baked into Google+. Before, you could only search for other Google+ users. Now you can search Google+ posts, news and the Web. Google said it returns results based on content in which users show interest.

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Search Keywords

We tried the search feature out for good measure and found it successfully returned a result for our query on the Senate's antitrust inquiry into Google.

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Hangouts With Extras

Hangouts received the most improvements of all the new Google+ features launched this week, including the Hangouts with Extras perks.

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Here Are the Extras

Extras include screen sharing, Sketchpad for shared drawing, Google Docs for project collaboration and Named Hangouts for public sharing. See them in action here.

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Hangouts on Air

Hangouts on Air allow users to broadcast live performances or other events to larger audiences. Note the Live notice in the upper left-hand corner and the On Air notice in the upper right-hand corner.

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Hangouts for Mobile

Users of Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" and later devices with front-facing cameras may now find an active hangout in the Stream and tap to join. The app, which should look great on new Gingerbread smartphones with large screens, such as the 4.3-inch Motorola Droid Bionic and the Samsung Epic 4G Touch, which has a 4.52-inch display.

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Hangouts API

Google also made its Hangout API available to developers, allowing them to create their own apps for Hangouts. Developers can get started here.

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Mobile Perks

Google+ has also gotten some nifty mobile app improvements, including better SMS support, allowing users in the United States and India to post to Google+, receive notifications and respond to group messages via SMS. Other mobile app additions include improved +mentions support and the ability to post comments from the iPhone. Android support for this feature is forthcoming.

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Mobile Perks for Android

Users may also now edit their profile photos from Google+ for Android, customize notifications and move the Google+ app to SD storage on Android phones.

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Huddle Is Now Google+ Messenger

Last but not least, Huddle is no more... the name for the Google+ for mobile group messaging app has been switched to Google+ Messenger (after Facebook Messenger!). The app also now includes photo sharing, as you can see in this slide.

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