I’ve been using Google+ for a couple weeks now and am liking it. Up until today the iPhone mobile experience was limited to the mobile optimized web version of Google+. Today Google has launched an iPhone app in the Apple App Store.
You can download the app by clicking here (direct link to itunes).
The iPhone app experience is a bit buggy as it crashed for me about 10 seconds in on the initial launch. Since then, the app hasn’t crashed and has been a joy to play with.
Some features that you will find in the app:
- Huddles (group messaging for a specific circle)
- Stream (view posts from your circles, incoming or nearby)
- Circles (add people to existing or new circles)
- Notifications (your updates from comments and +1s)
- Photos (both viewing & posting)
When you first launch the app the splash screen with the Google+ logo is shown.
The next screen is the Google+ dashboard where you can do a few different things:
- Edit settings (little gear on the top left)
- Go to your stream
- Start a huddle
- View photos
- View your profile
- View your circles
- View your notifications
When you click into your Stream the app will ask you if it’s ok to send you push notifications and if it is ok to use your location. Once you have answered those questions the app lets you know that you can access other streams by swiping the screen to the left or right.
The stream is broken down into 3 parts:
The “circles” stream lets you see posts from people that you have put into your circles.
The “nearby” stream lets you see posts from people that are close to your location. If you let Google+ use your location then this will work. Otherwise it may not. The posts that you see here aren’t necessarily going to be from people that you have in your circles.
The “incoming” stream consists of posts shared with you by people who aren’t in your circles. This way you can see if there is interesting or relevant information being posted by someone that you may of unintentionally left out of one of your circles.
Huddle is group chat. The group chat feature lets you chat with many friends at once. There’s no limit to the number of people you can chat with, and any participant can invite others to join.
The “photos” section of the Google+ iPhone App breaks this section down into 4 parts:
- From your circles
- Photos of you
- Your albums
- From your phone
The “from your circles” section lets you see photos that have been uploaded by people that you have added to a circle. Currently you can only comment on the photo from the app. At the time of writing this there wasn’t a +1 button for photos.
The “your albums” section shows you the photos that you have uploaded for your profile, from posts, and picassa albums.
The “Photos from your phone” section lets you see all the photos you have in your phone that you’ve taken with the iPhone’s camera. From here you can select a photo or multiple photos to share on Google+.
The “about” tab in the profile section lets you see your Google Profile information.
The “posts” tab in the profile section lets you see all the posts that you have made and the comments and +1s that people have made on those posts.
The “photos” tab in the profile section lets you see all the photos that are associated with your Google+ profile. This also includes your Picassa photos.
The “circles” section lets you can see people in your circles, suggested people to add to your circles or the circles themselves.
The “notifications” section displays your most recent activity on posts, if someone added you to their circles, etc.
Underneath the “settings” section (located on the top-left corner of the dashboard) you can find:
- Give Feedback
- Terms of Service
- Sign Out
So far, I have found this app to be helpful and am looking forward to where both it and Google+ go in the future. My only gripe thus far is that there isn’t a native iPad app yet. Notice I added “yet”. Keep your fingers crossed because the mobile Google+ experience on the iPad is bad.
Once again, you can download the app by clicking here (direct link to itunes).