Google+ gets a slick new Android app

Google (s GOOG) launched a completely revamped version of its Google+ Android app Thursday morning, following a similar refresh of the iOS app earlier this month. The new version also comes with a few new features, including easier access to Google+ Hangouts, but the biggest difference is the slick new UI that puts a big emphasis on media sharing. Take a look at a few screenshots below:

This new visual focus goes along with Google focusing more on social photo sharing – in fact, I wrote earlier this week that photos have become a kind of “secret weapon” in Google’s competition with Facebook (s FB) and others. “We wanted to make sure that the content is the hero,” Google’s Bradley Horowitz said at the Google+ photographers conference in reference to the new app design this week, where he also called photos “the life-blood” of Google+.
Interesting about this visual refresh was that the company decided to roll it out on iOS(s aapl) first. I asked a company spokesperson today whether there are any significant differences between the Android and the OS app, and was told that the ability to start Hangouts is unique to the Android experience.