Search engine giant Google launched the Google+ project to the public on Tuesday after it has been an invite-only service for the past three months.
Vic Gundotra, Google's senior vice president of engineering, on Tuesday said while the Google+ project has been in field trial for less than 90 days, they have made 91 improvements since then. And though still in its early stage, Gundotra added that for the public launch, the company has released nine additional features that gets it closer to bring the nuances and richness of real-life sharing to software.
For the past 12 weeks we've been in field trial, and during that time we've listened and learned a great deal, Gundotra wrote in a blogpost. We're nowhere near done, but with the improvements we've made so far we're ready to move from field trial to beta, and introduce our 100th feature: open signups.
To access the Google+ service you can visit google.com/+.
Google+'s public launch came just two days ahead of Facebook's f8 Developer conference scheduled for Sept. 22.
Before launching the new social network to the public, Google made sure to some additional updates were done. Those updates include improvements to the Hangouts and Search features.
The group video chat feature Hangouts, which was previously only available on desktop, is now available on mobile phones. Hangouts now allow users to video chat with up to 10 people.
In life we connect with others in all sorts of places, at all different times, Gundotra said. And the connections you make unexpectedly are often the ones you remember the most. We think Hangouts should keep pace with how you socialize in the real-world, so today we're launching it on the one device that's always by your side: your mobile phone.
Hangouts currently supports Android 2.3+ devices with front-facing cameras. The new mobile app comes out on the Android Market on Tuesday and Gundotra said iOS support is coming soon.
To spice things up a bit, Google+'s Hangouts will come with some extra features to include screensharing, sketchpad, Google Docs, and Named Hangouts (for when you want to join or create a public hangout about a certain topic.)
The extras are still under construction, but we wanted to preview these features and get your feedback sooner versus later, Gundotra said.
Users will now be able to Search in Google+.
Just type what you're looking for into the Google+ search box, and we'll return relevant people and posts, as well as popular content from around the web, according to Gundotra.
When Google+ made its debut in late June it had a small number of users, but pretty quickly everyone wanted a Google+ invite. At one point in time Google had to tell companies to stay out of Google+.
Many were wondering of Google+ would be the rival for Facebook.
Google+ reportedly has about 25 million users compared to Facebook's 750 million.
Google+: A quick look