Monday, August 8, 2011

New Google+ Extension Adds Real-Time Code Collaboration to Hangouts

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The developer who previously brought us the Facebook Friend Exporter, Mohamed Mansour, has created a new, experimental Google Chrome extension which adds text-based document collaboration capabilities to Google+ Hangouts. For those of you not yet versed in all the G+ terminology, Hangouts are the multi-person video chat feature in Google’s social networking service, supporting up to 10 people at a time.

With this new Hangout extension, now you can do more than simply chat – you can collaborate on text-based files, too. Mansour suggests this would be a great extension for developers to use for code collaboration, for example.

The extension was developed without access to an official Google+ API (application programming interface), since such a thing does not yet exist. In other words, like all Google+ Chrome extensions to date, it’s an unsanctioned hack.

To use the extension, you first install the add-on from the Chrome Web Store, then head over to Google+ and start a Hangout. There’s nothing more you have to do – the text-editing interface appears directly in the Hangout window, above the video screens.