Google I/O 101: Q&A on Google+ Hangout Apps

Uploaded by GoogleDevelopers on 20.06.2012


LOUIS GRAY: Good afternoon, this is Louis Gray here with
Google Developers Live.
I'm speaking with Jonathan Barry,
developer advocate on Google+.
We're here to talk about Google+ Hangout Apps.
Now you're going to be speaking next week at Google
IO 2012, talking about these Hangout Apps, and I recently
saw you do a broadcast on YouTube
previewing this session.
So I wanted you to have an opportunity to give us an
intro to Google+ Hangout Apps.
What you guys are looking at, and really tell us the state
of that platform today.
JONATHAN BARRY: Great, yeah, so thanks Louis.
Thanks for having me.
Hangout Apps have been in public availability for about
three months.
When we launched Google+ we launched with Hangouts.
And the first thing we saw was people using Hangouts in
creative and interesting ways that we never foresaw.
And so immediately our first reaction was we need to build
a platform for the platform.
So we launched Google Developer Preview for the
Hangouts Apps.
And ever since then, developers in the community
have been building.
And out the gate we launched several
interesting Apps with partners.
And I'll be talking more about what we've been doing with
Hangout Apps, the platform, and giving some
demos at Google IO.

A few weeks ago we did a recording about the 101 level,
the introductory stuff, to getting started
with Hangout Apps.
It's actually really easy to get started.
That's sort of the takeaway of that whole thing.
And we have developers around the world who are just jumping
on and building really fun and interesting Apps using that
LOUIS GRAY: Now I've gone ahead.
I've been a user of Hangout since they first came out.
It's been fun to watch those apps roll in--
from playing cards to drawing silly little faces.
I know we're going to move beyond that.
I know we had a lot of questions come in from people
around the web.
We put them in through Moderator
as well as on Google+.
I wanted to go through those questions that have come
through and have a conversation.
So one of the questions that came in from Scotland, they
were talking about the opportunity for applications
to send anonymous users to a Hangout.
If an application authorizes a user with a third party
service, like Twitter for example, and wants to send
them to a Hangout without the need to register.
Is this possible?
Perhaps we could have different options whether
they're able to create or join.
JONATHAN BARRY: That's an interesting question.
So in terms of what we foresee, we really don't
comment or speculate on rumors when it comes to features.
But that's a great piece of feedback.
Google+ itself is about identity and being who you
are, and sharing who you are, on the web.
So in the foreseeable future, I think we're going to keep
with that model, where to take advantage of the Google+
experience, you really need a Google+ account.
Now there's nothing to stop you from having an application
with your own third party identity system, and
redirecting people to Hangouts and have them log in.
There's also a log in flow if they're not logged in already.
But that's really core to the Google experience to take
advantage of everything.
LOUIS GRAY: What do you think about options coming up,
possibly in the future, about customizing the entry to an
One of the developers was saying what he wants to do is
present the users with a button.
And once authorized, they can be sent directly to a
configured Hangout.
For example, not having the Invite Landing and
Configuration screen.
JONATHAN BARRY: So we have some of that already today.
It's called the Hangout button.
And it's basically an image, a URL, which you
can put on your site.
You can put it anywhere on the web.
That will launch a Hangout.
And you can do two things with that button.
You can launch a brand new Hangout, and just have it be a
new Hangout.
So if you just want to have users communicate.
Or you can pass in a Hangout to prepopulate.
You can also pass in metadata with that Hangout.
So if you're on a sports team's page, you can say I'm
on the blah football team and it will actually load the app
with that configuration information.
LOUIS GRAY: Now one of the questions that came in--
Google has a lot of different services and Apps and APIs
that we've rolled out.
So often people want to know how they
interact with one another.
So we know Google+ is new.
Hangouts are a little bit even newer than that.
Especially with the API being rolled out, people want to
know how is that going to integrate with things like
Google Web Toolkit?
This is something a lot of developers out there are using
and are excited about.
How do you see these two kind of technologies either
complementing each other or working together?
JONATHAN BARRY: That's a great question.
If you watch the video that I recorded the other week,
Hangout Apps are just JavaScript, HTML, CSS--
the power of the web in tools you like to use.
So if you built an application using the Google Web Toolkit,
there's nothing stopping you from rendering that
application as a Hangout App.
In fact, there's a developer in Japan, Aki Miyazaki, who
built a wrapper for the Hangouts API
using Google Web Toolkit.
So definitely check that out if you're interested.
LOUIS GRAY: Now I'm a big Android guy.
You can tell.
I've got the shirt on.
I've got the Android figurines.
I've been using Android probably since 2.1.
I would've gotten there earlier if I could.
But a lot of people have questions around the different
versions of Android, and what that does to impact the type
of apps that we're building.
So one of the questions was around the
Google+ Hangout API.
How can it be used with Android?
Is there any kind of difference between say, Ice
Cream Sandwich, which is the latest version, or pre Ice
Cream Sandwich devices?
JONATHAN BARRY: So first and foremost, Hangout Apps don't
run on mobile.
So they're currently limited to the browser-based Hangout
And we've heard from a lot of developers they would love to
build the similar types of web based applications inside of
the mobile app.
And that's just not on our roadmap right now.
We're definitely exploring different possibilities around
that, but then the differences between the different Android
versions become moot.
LOUIS GRAY: That's definitely something we look at.
You talk about developing for mobile, developing for the
browser, I know we have a lot of folks to make sure we have
a great Google+ experience on mobile.
We see that improving every day.
And I can see, even with Hangouts, it's becoming even
easier to join or start Hangouts as that goes.
I know a lot of people are really hoping to see that
change, and find ways to get Hangout APIs and Hangout Apps
working on that screen.
One of the thing I take a look at is, when you're in a
Hangout you have all these different options for
different apps.
Are there ones that come to mind that you see people are
really gravitating toward?
How are you finding the type of face to face experience
that's available on a Hangout really making the application
that much stronger?
JONATHAN BARRY: So first I'd like to touch about what makes
Hangouts really interesting and fun and why we're seeing
such a spike in usage.
It's a piece of technology that helps you do something
really meaningful and gets out of the way.
Once you're in the video chat, you no longer realize you're
chatting on a laptop with a camera.
But you're communicating with a friend or stranger or
somebody who's really interesting.
And then Hangout Apps, the ones that really excel, are
those ones that are not an experience in and of
themselves but makes the experience of
connecting even stronger.
So our favorite App, and the one we actually developed at
Google, is the Effects App.
It started with a simple mustache
for Movember in November.
But now we've expanded to crazy things like birthday
hats and NASA helmets and snorkels.
And so that's the type of application that is not, in
and of itself, a destination.
But it's part of the experience.
LOUIS GRAY: Right, and one person was asking
about Native Client.
Native Client, obviously, is a place where people are looking
for development especially when it hits the web.
And Chrome's been talking a lot about it.
When is that planned to be released for Hangouts?
JONATHAN BARRY: Similar to the Android response, I would say.
Right now the Hangouts rely on the Google Talk plug-in which
most Google users already are taking advantage of.
So it just updates seamlessly.
When it comes to porting that over a native client, that
would be very interesting.
And we think there's definitely
room to explore there.
But right now the plug-in does work, and as that native
client matures we'll revisit that.
LOUIS GRAY: What is it about Hangouts, and Hangout Apps
specifically, that make you excited as a developer
yourself and excited to speak to developers about what they
can do with Hangouts?
What is it specifically?
As opposed to looking at other places to spend their time and
put their code.
JONATHAN BARRY: That's a great question.
Personally, I'm a web developer.
I love JavaScript.
I love HTML.
I love CSS.
And I like building web apps, especially games and
interactive utilities.
The best part of Hangouts to me, and what developers love
about it, is it's just the web.
It's in iFrame.
It's your code that you can host from anywhere.
You can put in on our server, so you can take advantage of
our hosting.
But you can use all the tools that you're
really comfortable with.
So that's the programming languages for the backend
development like [INAUDIBLE], like Ruby, like App Engine.
All the databases you like to use and the
IDs you love to build.
So now you can build apps that are really easy and really
leverage the power of the web.
But the extra, and the cherry on the cake, is the
power of real time.
The video, the audio, component and the APIs we
provide make for a rich synchronous experience that
you can't find anywhere else on the web.
LOUIS GRAY: Talk about finding things anywhere else, when I
look at Google one of the things that's really cool
about this place is we have a lot of users.
And they're all over the world.
And when you look at supporting all these different
users, with different geographies, and different
languages, there are things that come up like
So there's some questions that came up around whether you can
localize the terms of service, the privacy policy, support
How much thought do we give, when creating Hangout APIs or
even just the core Google+, if you could speak to that in
terms of serving markets outside of the standard North
America and Europe.
JONATHAN BARRY: That's a great question.
It's actually very timely.
This morning we launched the ability to localize the title,
description, and icon for your Hangout Apps.
I'm pretty sure this question relates to that.
That's actually a pretty good piece of feedback.
Right now most people surface the terms of service, privacy
policy, and support page within the application itself.
So you have control over that.
We'll certainly look at how we can introduce the same level
of localization support for those built into the package.
Hangouts themselves run in as many countries as the Google+
can that we can legally run it.
And so that means if you're in Sao Paulo and Austria, you
could have a high quality Hangout together.
Just as well as if you're in San Francisco
and Mountain View.
And that, to me, is Google scale.
An amazing technology that's free for users.
LOUIS GRAY: So if we could leave with one thing.
What is something that aspiring developers should
know about Google+ that you think most of them don't know?

JONATHAN BARRY: There's a lot of stuff to talk about
Google+, but I would say that there's a really strong
community around Google+.
And that means for developers talking to other developers.
We're having our Google IO conference just next week.
6,000 developers from around the world coming together
learning about new technologies, but also
communicating with each other, socializing, networking.
And I find that there's a strong developer community
within Google+.
I get to learn about new libraries, new technologies,
new tools to help me be a better developer.
So definitely check out this growing
community within Google+.
LOUIS GRAY: All right, well I appreciate you
taking the time Jonathan.
It really sounds like Hangout Apps are taking off.
We're just at the beginning, and I'm looking forward to
what's next.
And thanks for doing our Q &A.
JONATHAN BARRY: Thank you Louis.
LOUIS GRAY: See you at the Google IO.
JONATHAN BARRY: See you at Google.