Google has released a new version of Google+ app for iOS. It finally allows users to join and create hangouts from their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The update also relaxes age restrictions on Hangouts, opening up the service to teens as well.
The most notable change, though, was the addition of Google Chrome as an option to open URLs from within the app, alongside mobile Safari.
Chrome for iOS released a few months back at Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference. Although third party browsers have very little to differentiate themselves due to Apple’s App Store restrictions, Google went ahead and released Chrome anyway.
Google can’t tap into the iOS system defaults, but it sure can use its own iOS Apps to at least offer an option to open URLs in Chrome. This could be another reason why Google decided to launch the Chrome browser for iOS.
But it doesn’t offer a seamless experience. Apps should ideally open URLs in a browser window within the app.
With Google’s services gradually being ousted from the default iOS experience, the company will surely start releasing more native apps. The Google Maps and YouTube iOS apps are expected to be released very soon. This gives Google control over a large number of widely used apps, that it can in turn take advantage of, encouraging the use of Chrome.
Here are the release notes for the update:
- Web links in posts now open in Chrome (if installed)
- Teens can now join and create Hangouts
- Instant Upload bug fixes to improve performance
Head over to the App Store to download the update.