We’ve been all night long playing and getting our hands on with Google+ app. It’s time to share our early findings. First at all, we have to say that it has surprised us all pleasantly. Without further delay, let’s get our teeth into it.
The app weights about 2Mb and it’s absolutely integrated with Android. The four mainstays are our Stream, our photo gallery, our circles and Huddle. Let’s take it step by step:
At the bottom we’ll see our notifications. There we’ll find all events and stuff that we’re incumbent upon: mentions, comments, messages…As we’ve said, it’s indissoluble from Android so those notifications will also be shown on our status bar. That is, where everything concerning us is shown, the same place that, as you might or mightn’t know, iOs users hated until not so long ago.
In our Stream we can see all the news and content shared by our friends. Essentially, it works as a Facebook Wall with +1s instead of likes. From Google+ app we can share our location, upload pics, update our status and refresh our wall. Everything’s crystal clear, intuitive and properly working.
When we tap on ‘photos’ we can manage all our albums, upload pics and see our friends’ and our circles’ (see below). We thought that would be all there was to it. But then we discovered the ‘instant upload’ option that we can sync to automatically upload those pics we’ve taken with our device camera. Thereafter we’ll choose if publish them or not.
From ‘Circles’ we can manage our all circles (obvious) of friends. Add and remove people, create new circles o search for a particular person. This option is one of the best Google+ features, as it makes easier to share content with some people, but not others. To put someone in a certain circle, just drag and drop his avatar inside.
When you add someone to a circle you can share with them and see what they’re sharing with you. They’ll be notified and can add you to their own circles, but they’ll never see the names of the circles you’ve added them to.
There’s one profile to the world and another to us. As always, you have to be careful about what you reveal about yourself. From your profile you can also investigate your friends’ and see a summary of your own posts and pics.
Remember that Google bought some months ago a company called Disco Messaging, don’t you? Disco Messaging was specialized in bulk text messaging, a sort of Whatsapp if you want to see it that way. And voilà, here’s Huddle as a proof of nothing happens by chance.
Huddle is Google+ instant message platform. It’s so important that we’ll have another app in our Android only for it. It’s more or less the same as any other cross-platform mobile messaging app. In addition, group chat is available from its very beginning, a feat that Whatsapp only achieved a few months ago. Assume that messages are received by push and we can leave any conversation when it no longer is of our business. Pics, smilies and geolocations can’t be shared by Huddle yet, but it’s only a matter of time. Likewise, Sparks and Hangout, two key features of the web version, have to wait for their moment, too.
In conclusión, Google+ app has the potential to become the most important app developed for Android so far. It’s its birthright. Welcome it as it deserves.