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Google Docs integration now available in all Google+ Hangouts

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Google Docs integration in Google+ Hangouts has moved out of "Hangouts with Extras" to become a feature available to all users.

via <a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-cseKW6t5PTI/T19_tWjBoaI/AAAAAAAAGL8/dfyjOCjfijM/s1321/jointly-launch.png">lh5.googleusercontent.com</a>
via lh5.googleusercontent.com

If you enabled the experimental "extra" features on Google+ Hangouts, you've seen the option to collaborate in Google Docs while on a call. Now, that option is moving from a peripheral feature to something that will be available to all users. Starting today, those without extras will be able to click the "Docs" button in a hangout to add or create documents while other Hangout members are displayed at the bottom of the screen. This makes Docs the second extra feature to be added to the core service, following screen sharing.

In some ways, this integration offers a live video version of the chat function that was already part of Docs. It's also reminiscent of Wave, Google's previous (and much less successful) attempt to link its services to one central platform. Unfortunately, while we could see some people wanting to use real-time collaboration on Hangouts — especially for business meetings — we doubt it's going to fill a need as central as the recent addition of virtual masks.