Google+ launched a year ago, and while it will not replace Facebook anytime soon, the budding social network got a lot of users so far. I even think that, while Google+ and Facebook share some similarities, in reality, Google+ is more like a long-form Twitter than a Facebook competitor. From my experience with it at least, you don’t really go there to share stuff with your “friends”, but to see what the authorities in some areas that you’re interested in are posting. Then comment on their posts, and +1 or share their posts with whomever you may have added to your circles.
One thing I liked about the Google+ mobile app ever since the beginning was the instant-upload feature. I think it’s a great way to sync your photos with an online account like Google+ and it saves you the trouble of connecting the phone to the PC, then copying pics on the PC, and then uploading them yourself to the web. With the Google+ mobile app, you can just take the picture, and it’s instantly available online and you can share it with others. Of course, sharing is all up to you. The pictures are private by default, so you don’t have to worry about them falling in the wrong hands.
The new Google+ app for Android has been overhauled with an enhanced and more beautiful browsing experience of the Google+ posts (based heavily on images). The latest version, which has started rolling out yesterday, also adds some interesting features:
- Visual refresh of the stream and improved navigation
- Initiate a Hangout from the main menu
- Support for ringing hangout notification
- Support for post editing
- Messenger suggestions for people you may know
- Download photos from posts or Messenger conversations
The most interesting new feature by far is the Hangouts feature, which to be honest, I expected it would be available from day one. But I suppose it makes more sense to have it now, when more people have moved to LTE data plans. Anyway, video streams will burn through your data cap pretty quickly, so right now you’d be well advised to stick with Wi-Fi.
I figure that for the very low-end smartphones the new app might not be very fast; the app is graphics-intensive, which require a lot of processing power to render and load. If you’ve already tried the new Google+ app, do you like the new UI, and does it work well for you?