updated 04:35 pm EDT, Wed March 28, 2012
Adds collaborative games and drawing tools
Google has added new features to the Hangout interface of its Google+ social networking. Now, when a user creates a Hangout video chat, they can interact through several new collaborative apps. The apps include shared games, slide show presentations, and drawing utilities.
For gaming, Google has launched Aces Hangout, an online poker game that can pit a player against their friends. Also offered is Clubhouse Challenge, a game for testing the player's knowledge of pop culture facts. For shared fun, Google is offering Scoot & Doodle, a collaborative drawing and coloring app; Cacoo, which provides joint wire-framing and diagramming; and Google effects, which lets a user add hats, glasses and beards and mustaches to their online personas in mid-session. Google has also linked Hangouts to SlideShare for co-viewing presentations, videos, and documents.
The apps are available by clicking through from a new "Apps" button on the Hangout interface page. Google is also reaching out to developers and encouraging them to post and distribute their own Hangout apps so others use them.