Google after 100 days of field testing Google Plus, their social network service, has opened gates for the service to all.
Up until now, Google+ was an invite only social networking service. It was only possible to join the service after receiving an invite from someone who got lucky to get in first, or by accessing the site when Google temporarily removes the invite-limitation.
Today over at the official Google Blog, Google announced that Google+ is now available for everyone. Anyone now can sign up for Google+ without any invitation. Thus Google+ officially graduated from “field-trial” to “beta” phase.
If you have waiting to get into Google Plus, but wasn’t lucky, now you can sign up through the official website at google.com/+ or http://plus.google.com/. After visiting that page, simply click on Sign In button and use your Google Account to sign in. Fill up the form and click on the Join button to start using Google+ social networking service.
The blog post also announced many new and improved features. This includes Hangouts on your phone. Hangouts uses live video to bring people together, face-to-face-to-face. If you use your Android phone to connect to Google Plus, you can now join Hangouts just like your buddies using the desktop can. Hangouts now supports Android 2.3+ devices with front-facing cameras (and iOS support is coming soon). The new mobile app is rolling out to Android Market today, so you can start hanging out at any time, from just about anywhere.
Hangouts on Air is another new feature which allows Google+ users to record a session and broadcast it. As usual up to 9 people can join you while can be watched by anyone. Other improvements and extras Hangouts got include Screensharing, Sketchpad, Google Docs support and Named Hangouts.
Last week Google launched the Google+ API for developers. Today, Google released Hangouts API specially made for Hangouts. If you are a developer, you can find more information about the available APIs over at the official Google+ Platform blog.
Search in Google+ got more improved. Using Search in Google Plus, you can now find relevant people and posts, as well as popular content from around the web.
Other notable improvements can be seen on the mobile front of Google Plus. The notable ones are improved SMS support, improved +mentions support, +1’ing comments from the mobile app (iOS app only, Android will be supported soon). The Google+ mobile users will now be able to edit their profile photo and customize notifications. Google+ app for Android now supports App to SD storage. And last but not the least, Google renamed Huddle to Messenger.