Google+ app now lets iOS users open Web links in Chrome

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) released updated versions of its Google+ social networking application for iOS and Android, with the former introducing a workaround that circumvents Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) ban on default browsers other than its own Safari.

With Google+ for iOS version 3.1, users may choose to open external Web links in Safari or Google's Chrome browser by clicking a pop-up dialog within the app. According to The Next Web, which first identified the workaround, the Google+ update leverages URL schemes, an official Apple tool that supports external communications with iOS apps.

"If you want to send a post to Twitter from outside of the app itself, for instance, developers can use the 'twitter://post?message' URL scheme, which will open the Twitter app with a new message ready to go," The Next Web explains. "This URL scheme system is the one that Google is using to send clicks from the URLs in posts of its app out to Chrome. For now, it's an option, but moving the option to a settings menu could effectively make it a default for many users." In theory, Google could exploit the URL scheme system across all 21 of its branded iOS apps.

The Google+ update for iOS and Android also enables teens 13 and older to join and create Hangouts, video chats that enable up to nine people to communicate in real time. Google previously prohibited Hangouts to users 18 and up. Google+ for Android additionally boasts support for the Hangouts on Air feature, which enables users to view live public video streams--the feature is not yet available in the iOS version.

Google+ launched in mid-2011. The platform rivals Facebook by giving users the flexibility to selectively share materials with friends and family sorted into "circles."

For more:
- read this Next Web article

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