Google Announces Two New Features

By Ray Deck March 30, 2012

Google made two announcements today about its social network, Google+, and a new service called Account Activity. The company first outlined the account activity on Google services and offered its users access to that data. The company then announced the release of several new Apps for the video conferencing and a new chat feature of Google+ called Hangout.

Account Activity is a new feature allowing users who opt into the service to gain more information about the way their Google account is being used. Most use would presumably come from the account holder, but it also reveals any unauthorized account access – one of the major advertised benefits of Google’s Account Activity service. Google grants a vast amount of data to its users; Account Activity is the distillation of that data in a form they can handle.

The announcement about apps in Hangout was naturally made inside Google+. The search giant releases Hangout for 3rd party developers, likely resulting in a richer experience for most users. The apps are being distributed via a new “Apps” button inside of Hangout where both featured and recent apps are highlighted. While the initial offering is slim, 3rd party developers should fill the void quickly. Apps currently available include:

+Aces Hangout, for playing poker with friends, face-to-face-to-faceClubhouse Challenge by +Bravo, for testing your pop culture IQ against other teams+Cacoo, for wire-framing, mind-mapping and diagramming with othersGoogle Effects, for trying on headwear, eyewear or facial hair+Scoot & Doodle, for drawing and coloring with the people you care about+SlideShare, for co-viewing presentations, docs and videos

Google is issuing changes gradually, so not all accounts will have access to the hangout apps right away.

Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Contributing Writer

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