Google+ releases updated Android application, now with search

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Google+ AndroidGoogle+ released an update to its Android application today, with a fresh set of features including a highly requested search function.

Search is Google’s bailiwick, so it was puzzling that the company’s Android app didn’t originally support what is now considered a basic function of discovery. Now, a bar at the top of the application will allow you to search for any name or keyword to will bring up a post or profile. Photos are not included in the search feature.

The Google+ app has also added instant video upload support again, along with the option to “+1″ photos as well as comments. Chat functions are different as well. Similarly to Gchat, you are now able to see who is online and available to chat, as well as when someone is typing a message to you. The messenger allows you to start conversations by entering a phone number, as opposed to looking up a profile.

The last update is actually a small one, but takes care of a pet peeve of mine in any app, on any operating system: when a link doesn’t open inside the app. Now, posts and photo links tapped on in Google+ stay in the Google+ app.

In a nice bit of timing, Facebook also released its new Android app today, but that update is focused on photos and adding the grey Facebook sidebar that iPhone users have had for awhile.