Google on Tuesday announced three new features to Google+ Hangouts On Air that make the service easier to use. Users will be able to enjoy immediate starting, broadcast rewinding, and higher quality videos on mobile, while creators will notice recordings are now instantly available on YouTube.
The ability to rewind live broadcasts is probably the most important addition. Regardless of when you started watching a Hangout On Air, you can always go back to the beginning. This is particularly useful if you tuned in just a few minutes late, but can also be handy if you want to watch a stream that started long ago and simply isn’t over yet.
If you opened up a page with a Hangout On Air, whether its Google+ Events, YouTube, or something else, the video will now begin playing as soon as the show starts. You no longer have to refresh: Google likely believes this will help more users than annoy as many forget about a stream they opened up.
Next up, if you’re using Hangouts On Air on the go, you’ll be happy to find out Google has upped the stream to a higher quality. The company didn’t detail what exactly this means: all it said is: “if you’re tuning in from your mobile device, you’ll notice better-looking video.”
Last but certainly not least, broadcasters will be happy to learn that recordings are now immediately available after your show is done. You no longer have to wait for the annoying “processing…” message: you can view and share your recording right after your broadcast finishes.
There’s a downside to this, however: it may take longer to set up your Hangout On Air, Google admits. The “Start broadcasting” button may be grayed out for longer before it turns red and you can start.
You can try out all these features on the next Google+ Hangout On Air: Ender’s Game director Gavin Hood, producer Bob Orci, and star Asa Butterfield will be premiering the trailer at 1:00 PM PDT (4:00 PM EST). As a big fan of Orson Scott Card’s books, I have to say Google made a smart move to land such an exclusive and release these features today.
Top Image Credit: Jeanette Jenkins