After being held in limbo for a couple of weeks by Apple, the Google+ iPhone App has been officially released to the public. For some reason the app is difficult to find in the Apple Store (maybe it’s that pesky “+” symbol) so if you want to try it and are having problems, just scan the QR code to the right with your iPhone, and it will take you directly to the download.
My biggest gripe with Google+ had been the difficulty for iPhone users to share photos. Yes, there are workarounds like downloading 3rd party apps that linked with Picasa, but this is definitely beyond the level of work most users will want to bother doing to upload a simple photo. Fortunately the app addresses this issue, and quite well I might add.
Here are the main features in the app:
- Stream – View of incoming posts from all the people in your various circles.
- Huddle – High-speed group messaging system for the people in your circles.
- Photos – Ability to upload photos directly from your iPhone to your stream.
- Profile – View your G+ profile.
- Circles – Manage who you follow and who you share with.
I’m just getting my hands on the app for the first time, so I haven’t formed too many opinions yet. However, here are some first quick thoughts:
- Fairly clean overall interface, like the whole Google+ project
- Background is gray – a strange diversion for Google, making the whole app appear dim.
- Ability to post photos from albums or take new photos.
- Can post multiple photos at the same time from the app (unlike Facebook).
- Simple to attach a location to every post (or choose not to).
- Simple to choose which Circles to share your updates with.
- Ability to see public posts from “Nearby” users is entertaining.
- Swipe functionality to move between “Incoming,” “Circles,” and “Nearby” is clean, but would be much more useful if you could swipe through your individual circles as well.
- Looking at the posts from specific circles rather than your entire stream is a much more complicated process than it should be, and requires multiple touches into the system: Circles > Circles > Specific Circle > Posts (illustrated below).
There do seem to be a few issues with the app, as Google has already released an update (less than an hour after the app was released) and it crashes now and then, but hopefully they will be able to address these growing pains quickly.
Have you tested the iPhone app yet? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the messages below!
Contributed by: Mike Supple, Sr. Social Media Manager, Milestone Internet Marketing