December 14, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Google+ will soon get a new update that makes it possible to initiate a Hangout directly from the Google+ Mobile app for Android. Announced a short while ago on the company’s official blog, Google+ will feature a button that makes it possible to tap a video icon and begin face-to-face chat, or face-to-face-to-face with up 10 people in a group hangout.
Hangouts first arrived on the Google+ app in September, but users wer limited to joining a Hangout that was already in-progress and initiated from the desktop site. The new feature will allow more flexibility to “go live” on the go. The change will be possible through an update in the Android Market set to debut in a few days. (Just in time for your mother to scold you in a Hangout for not calling your Aunt Ida enough). The update will likely require a front-facing camera and Android 2.3 or higher based on the previous requirements for mobile hangouts.
In related Google+ news, a few enhancements are coming to the desktop site as well. If you’ve ever been in a back-and-forth discussion with someone on the desktop site and wanted to hangout, you can do that by clicking a “Hangout” link next to where you usually click to comment. Then you can enhance the discussion face-to-face.
Finally, certain users will be able to broadcast and record hangouts on the desktop. I recently participated in the Daily Beast Hangout with Matias Duarte that was a neat chance to ask the Android UI lead questions about Ice Cream Sandwich. Sadly, only 7 other people got that privilege since Hangouts are limited to 10 people. With the new broadcast feature, anyone with a link unable to get into the hangout can at least see and hear what’s going on. And with the record feature, they’ll be able to archive and share it later on.