Google has been adding some more stuff to Google+ and it's worth mentioning. Now if you're skeptical about G+ I don't blame you quite frankly. I've talked to lots of people who have said that they created an account and then simply didn't see any point in using it - mainly because all their friends and contacts were over at Facebook. If that's you, then I'd say that it's probably worth while going back and taking another look because it has improved of late. There's the hangouts of course which work nicely, but also the community angle. Communities are really easy to create and monitor, and there are a fair number of Library and search communities out there - and to be honest, I have had some really interesting discussions in them - much more so than I've ever had in Facebook.
However, let's look at the changes in detail. They've changed the default timestream from a single column to a double column tile layout - vaguely similar to Zite and Flipboard:
I don't personally like this much since I have to flip around the screen quite a lot, but I suspect that other people will enjoy it.
Google+ is automatically uploading the pictures that you take on your smartphone up onto the web. You can turn this off if you want, and the pictures will be private until you decide otherwise. It's also tagging and in a quite remarkable move it's taking photographs and adapting or modifying them itself. Suppose you have a series of 5 photographs of your friends, but you can't get a perfect one because in one someone sneezes, in another one has their eyes closed etc. Auto Awesome will identify the best shot of each person in group pictures and merge them to create one "outstanding picture". The Auto Highlights feature will scan and select which ones are in focus, have good exposure and saturation, contain landmarks, contain people, if those people are smiling, and if those people are in your family. Creepy, but so cool!
The new Hangout App combines video chat, Messenger, and Google Talk into one application. The new Hangout features group video chats, the ability to save conversations and rewatch them later.
Is it all rather creepy? Well, yes it is, but it provides a lot of added functionality and it does make life a lot easier. Of course, if you don't like these features, you don't have to use them!