Google+ gets interface overhaul, new features

Google unveiled a major update to Google+ today (11 April 2012), with changes to the main navigation interface, hangouts, profile pages, and the addition of various features.

In a blog post describing the changes, Google+ head Vic Gundotra said that they are “introducing a more functional and flexible version of Google+.”

Gundotra highlighted three main changes in the way users will navigate Google+, achieved by moving the static icons at the top to a ribbon on the left reminiscent of old versions of Outlook:

  • You can drag apps up or down to create the order you want;
  • You can hover over certain apps to reveal a set of quick actions;
  • You can show or hide apps by moving them in and out of “More”.

Google+ will also be receiving a bunch of new features to “inspire you to connect with others,” Gundotra said. These include:

  • Full bleed photos and videos that’ll make you really proud to post;
  • A stream of conversation “cards” that make it easier to scan and join discussions;
  • An activity drawer that highlights the community around your content.

Google also updated its Hangouts feature, with Gundotra highlighting the following changes:

  • An always-updated list of invitations from the people in your circles;
  • Quick access to every public and On Air hangout, for those times when you want to meet someone new, or watch a live broadcast;
  • A rotating billboard of popular hangouts, pro tips and other items you don’t want to miss.

Gundotra said that they will be rolling out these changes over the next few days. “So please check back if you don’t see them yet.”

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Google+ gets interface overhaul, new features