Google+ backbone needs breaking

Just to clarify, I am a Google+ user.

I was already a heavy Picasa user with purchased space, which has evolved into Google+, which is a great way to view and manage my photos from anywhere (yes there are bits and pieces missing, but it works for me).

However, having bought an iPad (I didn't go Android yet for various reasons) I noticed that using functionalities like Hangouts and viewing images are too hidden in the Google+ app.

They should be broken out into separate apps, so they become much more useable, and everyday. Hangouts are really useful as I'm have a GNex and a combination of OSX and windows computers, but when compared with competing services such as Skype with their standalone app, it's difficult to educate non expert users to go to G+, open the side tab, go to hangout...etc.

Pictures are the same. I understand that Google wanted to add a backbone, but they should make the backbone invisible, and separate tasks into more focused apps. By all means keep Google+ app for timeline style updates, but make functionality easier to discover and use.

I have a feeling that Google may do this with the X-Phone, or maybe even the next Android, but at the moment, it seems strange that so much functionality is hidden into Google+.