Skip to main content

Google+ apps updated: iOS version gets first Safari workaround

Google+ apps updated: iOS version gets first Safari workaround


Google has updated its Google+ apps for iOS and Android, adding new support for Hangouts and sneakily circumventing Apple's infamous "no default browser other than Safari" rule.

Share this story

Google has released updates for its Google+ apps for iOS and Android, with the former including an intriguing workaround to Apple's prohibition on default browsers other than Mobile Safari. Google+ for iOS now offers the option of opening external links in either Safari or Chrome, using URL schemes to pop up a choice dialog. As The Next Web points out, if moved to a global settings menu, this choice could effectively make Chrome a default-within-a-default, opening links from all 21 of Google's iOS apps.

The primary update to the Android version of the app concerns Hangouts, with users now able to take advantage of Google's Hangouts on Air feature, watching live, public video streams. This functionality — used by organizations including NBC and CERN — was previously confined to the social network's desktop website, and has yet to be implemented in the iOS version of the app. Mobile users on both platforms are still unable to start Hangouts on Air themselves.

Interestingly, Google has also lowered the age restriction for all mobile hangouts, which were previously limited to users aged 18 or over — with the latest update, anyone who meets the network's global age restriction of 13 can start or join one. The move could signal a broader attempt to attract younger users to Google+, with an infographic published back in March showing a smaller proportion of users in the 0-24 category than either Facebook or Twitter.