updated 09:55 am EDT, Wed April 11, 2012
Google+ reworked early
Google's still-young Google+ got a major interface rework on Wednesday. The service now has all its core sections, such as circles and photos, in a large vertical sidebar instead of the small horizontal bar. The method both makes access more obvious and, Google adds, will let users customize the order as well as make it easier for Google to add major new features.
A dedicated Hangouts section is new and makes it easier to see which video chat invitations are active, as well as every publicly broadcast stream. More popular hangouts beyond existing circles are also available. Jumping to the section provides a contact list that's more conspicuously oriented towards starting a video call.
Other touches bring a new Explore area to find trending content, and profile pages now have a more Facebook Timeline-like emphasis on bigger photos for both the person and in-line.
Users should start seeing the upgrades filter out over the next few days.