The Google+ tester list is growing rapidly. Not surprisingly Google knows that a mobile app is a very important component of any social service and their Google+ Android app launched alongside the service which at the time of this post is still not open to everyone. Before I get into the meat of the app I’d just like to say it baffles me why it it still so difficult to get screen shots of Android apps running on a non-rooted device without downloading the SDK and following a bunch of confusing steps. I couldn’t get screen shots from my Android powered HTC Legend for this post so I had to use the ones on Android Market instead.
The Google+ App is only available to a limited number of counties – Jamaica not being one of them officially but I used my geek powers to get access to the app and will holding Google to task and hoping they make the app available to all int the very near future. Booting up the app the first time you’ll jump few a few agreement hoops and then you are the homepage that displays the Google+ logo and Stream, photos, circle, profile and a feature unique to the mobile app Huddle. Lets break them all down
- Stream displays the updates of the persons in your circles such as photos, text, video as well as those who have interacted with said updates
- Photos show you you photo updates from your circles, your own uploads and those on your phone which you can share by clicking a checkbox.
- Profile shows your current display picture and is a direct link to, you guess it, your profile where you can see posts you have made, photos uploaded and the about section of your profile.
- Circles show they different circles you have created and the number of people in each, clicking a cericle allows you to see posts and photos from people in that circle.
- Huddle is a feature unique to the mobile app and allows add friends to private text chat session. Think of it like BBM meets Google talk and group text but for only those you wish to hear from at a particle time.
- A notification bar at the bottom of the app displays updates and flicking it up gives more details about the updates depending on your notification settings.
From the stream page you can write updates or statuses to use a Facebook term, add pictures and even check-in to nearby venues. Pressing the menu button and going into settings allows the user to customize the app by turning on and off various features such as instant upload as well as choosing notification sounds and more. The Google+ is simple, responsive but feature rich and while it definitely doesn’t have a finished look and a few rough edges it does it’s job perfectly and has never force closed or hung up on me which is good seeing that I am using a now aging HTC Legend running Android 2.2.