Google is preparing to launch its Google+ Project social networking tools, which are currently being tested by users.
Google claims that the new tools, which will be accessible online through a web browser or through a smartphone app, will bring the online social interaction experience closer to real life.
Google+ (Google Plus) Project
The new Google+ features will include +Circles, +Sparks, +Hang Outs and +Huddles.
Google claims that the +Circles feature will give the user better control over what they share online and with whom. It enables users to create social circles from their contacts, so work, teammates and university friends can be grouped.
The +Sparks feature is designed to bring people with similar interests together, by creating a forum of online chat, video and news aggregation surrounding a specific interest in a single place where like-minded people can meet and interact.
The +Hang Outs aspect of the service lets your contacts know when you’re available to video-chat online, while the +Huddle tool works much like a group instant messaging service so plans can be quickly arranged.
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Cloud service for photos and video
As part of the Google+ Project a cloud-based service for storing photos and videos is will also become available, called Google +Instant Uploads. This will allow users to share their content with chosen contacts, and access their photos from a number of devices.
The Google+ Project is currently available to users by invitation only, but is expected to become widely available to all later this year. A Google+ application is currently available through the Android Market, again only to those invited to use it, and Google says that an iPhone app is also in development.
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