In this second post on Google Plus, we focus on the Hangouts feature, which is essentially a free videoconferencing service offered to all Google Plus users. Below are 2 screencasts, the first demonstrating Hangouts and Hangout Apps, and the second demonstrating Extras. Since Google Plus’s redesign at the beginning of April 2012, Extras is being phased out by Google, in the interest of making more features available through the new Hangout Apps feature directly. A Googler named Chee Chew explains the thought process in a Google Plus post at https://plus.google.com/106717946845088683921/posts/HJgF9xuTi6Z.
Hangout apps allow you to draw collaboratively, visit and watch videos as a group, and share documents, amongst other options. Since Hangouts with Extras essentially offered just those options, it makes the distinction redundant now, though as demonstrated in the second video, the link for Extras is still available as of April, 2012.
Last week, two related things happened. First, I published a screencast about Google Plus according to a schedule we worked out early in the semester. That video is here: http://blogs.princeton.edu/etc/2012/04/09/etc-screencast-intro-to-google-plus/. Then, Google launched its redesigned interface for Google Plus, which made almost everything in that video useful only in the sense of nostalgia and retrospection. So, this week, we are offering this new screencast that introduces the new interface. Note that the functionality is almost completely the same, though the places where you get to that functionality has all changed.