Google has released an update to Google Slides today that will bring improve slide sharing, especially for those of you who share slides while using Google Hangouts. The update is build 1.2.372.11.35 for those keeping score at home and it is a build for both Android phone and tablet devices. It was released by Google today into the Google Play Store but it may take a few days to reach your devices.
As a reminder, for those who did not catch my series of articles on migrating to Google Docs, you can read Part 4 which covered my move to Google Slides.
For those of you who use Google Hangouts and share Google Slides within a meeting using that service, this update will be welcome news. Now you can toggle between the slides you are presenting and the live video feed of those who are watching. It gives you a one-tap way to join the conversation and see everyone then tap back to go to your slides. It is a clear indicator that Google wants to not only be your productivity suite but also your collaboration and conferencing service too. This update to Slides makes that a very real option.
Secondly, you can now use the Notification area of your Android phone or table to forward or reverse slides even if your device is locked. While you obviously need Google Slides running in the background, you do not necessarily have to be within the app itself. You can drive your presentation or exit it from the Notifications area.
These two new features will certainly make using Google Slides easier for everyone but I think the bigger news here is around Google Hangouts and the continued integration of these two apps for collaboration and conferencing.