Google+ gets a slate of new apps for Hangouts

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Google is showing off some new Hangout-themed apps today. From play games and goofing around to getting serious work done, the apps use the Google+ social video tool to make the most of face-to-face, real-time interaction.

New Hangout games include the poker-themed Aces Hangout, a pop-culture quiz game from Bravo, Scoot and Doodle (a drawing game), and Google Effects, which lets you try on new facial hair or eyeglasses à la Wooly Willy.

Non-game apps include SlideShare, which lets participants go over slide presentations and other documents face-to-face, and Cacoo, which is used for wire-framing, mind-mapping, and diagramming with others.

Googler Amit Fulay notes users will be seeing a new “Apps” menu option inside Google+ Hangouts showing recent and featured apps. The apps will be gradually rolled out to all Google+ users.

These apps are the result of the Google+ Hangout API that was first announced last fall. With today’s announcement, that API is officially coming out of preview.

On the Google+ developers blog, Fulay continues to say that devs can easily share their Hangout apps by posting a link to the app inside Google+ or by adding a Hangout button to another web page. “In either case, anyone who clicks will start a new hangout with your app running inside,” Fulay wrote. “It then appears in the Recent apps pane for future hangouts.”

Hangout apps will have the ability to start a Hangout with up to 10 people, control video and sound settings, add sound effects, add image overlays, tinker with user interfaces, and more.

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