Last night I was able to get into the Google+ trial and one of the pieces of the setup was a Talk plugin that includes audio and video chat support. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it works great on Fedora 15. The PackageKit browser integration pulls in other support you may need. After installation you’re able to join the “Hangout” feature which lets you chat live with multiple other users using your webcam and audio. It also plays well with PulseAudio so I was able to easily use my USB headset with no tinkering.
So far it looks like Google may have figured out a way to take the interesting parts of Wave, and build them into a framework that’s more friendly and less like an out of control email client. Within 24 hours I had a lot of people I know hooked up via the “Circles” feature for sharing. What this means for Facebook I don’t know — I sincerely hope G+ doesn’t become a cul-de-sac for geeks only.
My other hope is that there are GNOME folks out there looking into the Google+ API project, to see if there will be interesting and user-friendly ways to have the future desktop OS interact with this service.