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How to start a Google+ Hangout from android/mobile phone?

I recently got a Galaxy Nexus. The commercials for it tout the ability to do Hangouts with G+ Friends. When I start up G+ Messenger, a few things:

  1. I don't see any list of online friends from my circles. How am I supposed to start a chat with someone if I don't know who is online and who is offline?
  2. I started a conversation with a friend (who ended up being offline even though I couldn't tell). He later replied to me. I couldn't figure out how to start a Hangout with him. I've seen screenshots where there is a video chat icon at the top in conversations. But I don't see this icon in my Galaxy Nexus...
  3. Should I be able to see a list of hangouts that I can join somewhere? If my friends started a hangout, how would I join it unless I was specifically invited to it?

It seems like this shouldn't be so complicated. The interface certainly isn't complicated, so maybe I'm missing something?

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marked as duplicate by Flow, Chahk, Al E. Jan 11 '12 at 2:15

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

2 Answers

Make sure you have updated to the newest version of the G+ app. You should have version 2.3.1.242969 that came out yesterday.

From there you need to go to messenger and find the person you want to hangout with and send them a message. Once you send them a message you will see a hangout icon appear in the top right corner. See here for more information.

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You may tell whether your contacts are online by checking their online status via Google Talk. The online marker should be green (online and active) or orange (online but idle), but not gray (offline).

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