Google has announced that it has opened up Google+ sign-ups to all, bringing the service out of its invite-only shell.

Not only has it made the service available to everybody, it has also announced it is bringing one of its more impressive features to mobile phones – Hangouts.

Hangouts is the group chat service which is direct competition with the likes of Skype and, to a lesser degree, Facebook.

It has also improved Hangouts for the web, including the addition of screen-sharing – you can now visually share and talk about Google Docs – and you can now name your Hangouts.

There's a new feature as well, called Hangouts On Air. These are more like public broadcasts that people can tune in and out of as they wish.

At the moment, the number of broadcasters for the part of the service is is limited but anyone can join these On Air sessions – the first will be Intel's favourite Black Eyed Pea Will.i.am.

Watch our Google+ video hands on below:

Don't shoot the Messenger

And these aren't the only new features – Google has announced nine in total (seven just for mobile), but some of these are rather minor.

On the mobile side it includes improved SMS support, better +mentions and +1'ing comments and one of the big things is that Huddle has now been renamed as Messenger.

When it comes to the main Google+ website, search functionality has been added – which is something we were surprised that was missing from the invite-only version of the social network.

Given that Facebook F8 is this week, which should bring with it big changes to the social network, Google has timed its Google+ update extremely well.