Google+ hasn’t even been released for the general public yet, and you need someone with an account to invite you in. I recently received an invite, so it’s time to do a review of the Google+ Android app.
First, I’ll spend just a tiny bit of time talking about the service itself. Google+ brings a lot to the table that Facebook doesn’t, but it’s still very rough around the edges and missing several features that one would expect. Facebook and Google+ are still very different sites altogether, and while some people are calling this the “Facebook killer,” there are several features on both sides that I want to continue enjoying. In Google+ you can organize your friends into different circles, and when you post pictures, videos, and updates into the Stream, you decide what circles will be able to see them.
Rather than “liking” tons of celebrity and media pages, you can simply follow a celebrity like you would on Twitter. News about your interests comes in the form of Sparks, which can be as general as Game Development or as specific as Comic-Con 2011. Another cool feature is Hangout, which allows you to video chat with several people all at once. I love the options that are given regarding the Stream posts. You can actually edit your posts, have more control over the comments, and you can even search for media right from Google+ without having to hunt for a link.
On to the app! Everything is laid out very well, and it’s very clean and easy to navigate. It’s easy enough to look at the Stream of posts from your various circles. The huddle feature allows you to chat with your circles in a chat room, which is a godsend for texting conversations. The photos feature works great. Uploading photos from your phone is painless and easy, and you can even take a photo and upload it right from the app. I have yet to see any way to look at sparks though, which is disappointing. There is also no Hangout feature, which could be useful for those with front facing cameras. It’s not very practical, but it could be useful.
All in all, this app is a great start for a social networking site that is also off to a great start. As I said, it’s still in beta and being updated constantly. I definitely recommend you at least try out Google+ and this app if you get the chance. Who knows? It might very well be the Facebook killer. I’ll be keeping and enjoying both of mine for now. The app is totally free and as long as you have a Google+ account, you’ll have access. Check it out.