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Google+ (Google Plus) for Android Hands-on

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Google+ (Google Plus) for Android Hands-on
So Google+ has arrived on Android, but what exactly is it? You've probably heard that it's not Facebook, but it's like Facebook, so what's the difference? Google's attempt at social networking reaches for the sweet spot between oversharing in Facebook and undersharing in Twitter through one key concept – Circles. Unlike Facebook, everything in Google+ is organized around this circular concept, forcing you out of the paradox of having 500+ “friends” you barely know. In Google Plus you classify friends, acquaintances and co-workers until everyone gets the place they deserve.

But to get into that magical space you have to... be invited, of course. Google+ is yet another invite-only beta service by the search giant. After the initial excitement of conquering the new lands of the web, you realize that a trip to the Android Market will prove beneficial as that's where the free Android application for the new social network resides.

Google+ (Google Plus) for Android Hands-on
It greets you with five icons – Stream, Huddle, Photos, Profile and Circles. You already know about the Circles, while the Stream presents you with a unified view of all the updates from all of your circles. Next on the list is Photos, accumulating a lot of pictures. Actually, every single picture you take on your cell phone can be instantly uploaded to the web. You shouldn't worry about privacy, though, as it's stored safely in a private album, so if you want to share it with the world, you just change the picture to public availability... et voila. There's one downside to this otherwise excellent idea – all images are downsized to save you some traffic. In Google Plus you only get to see 720 x 540 pixels worth of an image. 

The profile icon takes you straight to your profile where you can edit all of your personal information. We should add, that Google Plus is helping you to discover what you're interested in through the Sparks feature. Type in your interests and relevant content pops up, which you can share and "spark" a conversation with the appropriate circle.

Google+ (Google Plus) for Android Hands-on
You might have noticed that we missed Huddle, and for a reason. The feature is exclusive to the mobile application and allows you to easily create group chats with all people in a circle or just handpicked individuals. Now, while that's truly an outstanding feature (just think how much easier it makes organizing a get-together), Huddle puzzled us with being available only in the Android Google+ app. You can't continue your conversation on a desktop, nor through the mobile website, and it's not integrated with Google Chat.

That rounds up the functionality of the Android app, but you won't know all about it, unless we say what Google+ and the application miss as a whole. First of all, the new social network has this creepy yet cool Hangout feature, which is basically a group video chat. Perfect opportunity to use that front facing camera on your cell phone? Think again, as it's not supported in the mobile application, and we'd love to see the engineers at Google add this in next versions of the app. 

The app also doesn't support multiple accounts (that's supposed to be fixed in Version 1.0.2, which wasn't available at the time of writing this), but even more importantly – there is no private messaging. At least in the way we are used to. You can still send IMs or emails to people in your circles, but the lack of dedicated private messaging was a disappointment for us.

To conclude, we have to admit that Google Plus for Android does one thing brilliantly – push notifications. You'll be thrilled with joy seeing how seamlessly Google has implemented push notifications appearing in your dropdown. Those of you used to the Facebook mobile app will find many similarities, while notifications seem to be even better implemented in the new social network. We're sure that Google and Vic Gundotra, the main person behind G+, will put a lot of efforts into this, but even though it's still in its early phases, the network's mobile application look more like a hit than a miss.

Highlights:
+ Excellent push notifications
+ Privacy taken care of elegantly through circles
+ Instant Uploads of pictures puts images in the cloud instantly
+ Huddle exclusive to the mobile app

- The current version does not support multiple accounts (Version 1.0.2 should fix this.)
- No private messages as a dedicated feature.
- G+ is not allowed for people under 18.


29 Comments
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posted on 01 Jul 2011, 09:13 1

1. android_hitman (Posts: 621; Member since: 07 Jul 2010)


i don't think i am going to use it! everybody i know is on facebook already .. so....
i don't see the point to switch... i wll give it a try anyway

posted on 01 Jul 2011, 09:13 1

2. Rotate (Posts: 26; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


the app is not available for every countries unfortunately, market enabler is needed :( although, great app, i'm liking it so far, much better then facebook app :)

posted on 01 Jul 2011, 09:19 3

3. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


Oh look, Google ripping off Facebook again.

posted on 02 Jul 2011, 01:15 2

15. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


Aww, how cute. The truth surely stings, doesn't it PA? This is just Google's cheap, half-baked way of copying Facebook. But liberals can't stand being wrong apparently.

posted on 01 Jul 2011, 09:32 2

4. Myandroidlife (unregistered)


Guys, i'm using g+ from about 6 hours, i forgot already Facebook. If you want invite and the apk 1.0.2 send me email to gringoandroid@gmail.com and i will help you. See you there

posted on 02 Jul 2011, 01:16 3

16. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


No one cares about G+ system when Facebook is already doing, just better.

posted on 08 Jul 2011, 13:48

25. hohohoho (unregistered)


someone is MAD

posted on 01 Jul 2011, 09:36 2

5. pimpstrong (unregistered)


I like it. I've never enjoyed a FB app like I have the webpage but the Google+ app looks as good as the FB webpage. Obviously with Android taking over the world, Google+ will go right along with it.

I for one prefer how Google has made it a point to allow us to better select who sees what vs. how you see everybody's s**t on FB.

posted on 01 Jul 2011, 10:02 3

6. DigitalMD222222 (unregistered)


Oh goodie, goggle gives us yet another way to do things we can already do....... yawnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn....

posted on 01 Jul 2011, 10:24

7. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/googleplus.png

posted on 01 Jul 2011, 11:07 3

8. Rotate (Posts: 26; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


for me the point is to get rid of the annoying fb apps, which shaere a lot of rubbish onto my wall... as i watch the stream can't seem to find any useful information, just the rubbish created by my "friends"... if google stays as pure as it is now, i will forget fb, and use only g+ :)

posted on 01 Jul 2011, 11:47 2

9. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2677; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Private messages do exist. Just simply share a post only with that one person.

posted on 01 Jul 2011, 13:28

11. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


or you can use huddle too :D

posted on 05 Jul 2011, 11:11

22. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2677; Member since: 26 May 2011)


True, but unfortunately you need Android to do that right now.

posted on 05 Jul 2011, 13:40

24. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


damn :( hope you guys get the IOS version fast

posted on 01 Jul 2011, 12:03 1

10. CH (unregistered)


Huddle chat only for mobile? Screw this. I'm sticking with Facebook unless they change this :/ Desktop will always rule mobile, although mobile is nice if you're on a bus or train, but in that case the battery dies in less than a die, no matter what phone it is. The data connection just consumes the battery if you're on a moving vehicle... Sucks.

posted on 01 Jul 2011, 14:00

12. ohiojosh (unregistered)


GET TO THA CHOPPA!!!

posted on 01 Jul 2011, 22:07

14. rockky (unregistered)


the app is not available in my country, why is that?

posted on 02 Jul 2011, 16:48 2

17. quakan (Posts: 1195; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)


Nobody wants this knockoff version of Facebook...Facebook already has 750 million active users and I don't think too many of them are willing to jump ship when everyone they know is already a member of Facebook

G+ FAIL!!!!

posted on 04 Jul 2011, 12:24

20. bernhard haidinger (unregistered)


as u said u r using it because everyone u know is on FB. imo lots of people are on FB just because of that and not because they love it so much. there are always leaders in groups and if they decide to move on all will follow.
btw. i dont like FB either too much. My wall is full with stuff i dont really care about. FB needs to become a hub like seesmic. I dont want to check 10 different networks daily.

posted on 05 Jul 2011, 11:13 1

23. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2677; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Facebook has 750 million active accounts, not users. They simply use the term "users" because they have no interest in accounting for people with multiple accounts, or pure spam accounts.

posted on 13 Jul 2011, 18:37

27. lollipop (Posts: 43; Member since: 15 Feb 2011)


this is like Myspace vs Facebook all over again. I for one like Google+ so much more then facebook.

posted on 02 Jul 2011, 23:39 2

18. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


Lol, I like how I am saying the same thing, yet my comments get a negative rating.

posted on 03 Jul 2011, 14:10

19. Immolate (Posts: 288; Member since: 17 Jun 2011)


I can't stand Facebook and never could. For that reason I rarely use it except for a birthday reminder. I'm looking for something that makes sense to me from a social networking perspective, and maybe this is it. I'll know soon enough.

posted on 04 Jul 2011, 14:20 1

21. rican (Posts: 132; Member since: 02 Jul 2011)


@android_hitman...i remember a few years ago thats what everybody said when facebook first came out and we all had myspace....look at myspace now.

posted on 11 Jul 2011, 08:15

26. psr (unregistered)


Hi there, may i use this review (word for word) on my website ? i will provide all source links directly back to this page.

posted on 10 Aug 2011, 14:20

29. seomaster440 (unregistered)


Promoting google+ votes is becoming a very hot business. Using these types of services could have negative or positive affects on SEO.
We just have to see how google treats them. Another place to buy google plus votes is bulkones.com
Will be interesting to see how this evolves over the next few months.

posted on 10 Aug 2011, 14:21

30. seomaster440 (unregistered)


Promoting google+ votes is becoming a very hot business. Using these types of services could have negative or positive affects on SEO.
We just have to see how google treats them. Another place to buy google plus votes is bulkones.com
Will be interesting to see how this evolves over the next few months.

posted on 13 Aug 2011, 13:29

31. dodger0071 (unregistered)


https://plus.google.com/_/notifications/ngemlink?path=%2F%3Fgpinv%3Dk4rGKdja9jE%3AC64rhhCZ-Gg

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