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CNET Editors' review
Gone is the dashboard of icons that once greeted you upon opening Google+ for Android. Now, you can zip around the app with a sliding navigation ribbon on the left of the screen. This gives you easier access to your Stream, Profile, Messenger, Hangout, Photos, and Circles. As a whole, the app is easy to use and just as intuitive as its desktop counterpart.
What used to be called Stream is now simply your Google+ Home screen. This is the lifeblood of Google+. With the little drop-down at the top, you can choose to show feeds from All Circles, Nearby, What's Hot (trending posts), or any of your individual circles. As of yet, though, you can't create a custom feed with more than one circle (Family & Friends, for instance).
From your Home screen, you can do almost everything you can in the full desktop version of Google+. You can easily comment on, share, and +1 items, and, of course, you can create and edit your own posts with pictures, videos, and location tags. You can even download photos from posts, directly onto your device. As for looks, this screen shows a huge improvement over previous versions. It is now a lot cleaner, with wide images that look extra-stunning when in high-res.
Here, you can see your Google+ public profile page, all of your posts, and all of your photos. Unfortunately, you can't edit any of your profile information (except for your photo) from the Google+ app, which is a minor letdown.
As expected, this is the hub for all of your photos and videos. It provides a simple interface for viewing and commenting on items from your circles, items you're tagged in, and, of course, all of your own album items. You can also share, add tags to, or download photos.
One thing I love about the Google+ app is that it includes an Instant Upload feature, which automatically backs up pictures and videos taken on your Android device. By default, these items go into the private "From your phone" album, where you can easily access and share them at your convenience. Of course, you can disable Instant Upload if you're worried about battery drain, but I think it's a superconvenient feature that should be taken advantage of.
Here, you can manage your own events as well as those to which you have been invited. With a single tap, you can start setting up a new event, complete with date, time, invitees from your circles, and even a location tag.
With the Google+ app, you can easily create a new Hangout (video call) while on the go. And with a couple of taps, you can enable or disable audio or video, or switch cameras. Also, it's just as easy to join a Hangout in progress, if you come across one in your stream. If someone invites you to a Hangout, your phone will notify you, much like it would for a typical voice call, and upon answering, you can decide to enable or disable video. If a lot of your friends are on Google+, then this feature is going to be a much simpler option than, say, Skype.
The Messenger feature lets you chat with one or more of your Google+ connections from a single panel. You can add photos to your conversation, either from your album or directly from your device's camera. The feature is easy to use and has tons of potential when it comes to coordinating with friends. It can actually be a lot more convenient and powerful than mass texting, if most of your friends are on Google+, that is.
In this section of the app you can view and manage all of your Google+ Circles. You can easily view posts and photos from individual Circles, create new Circles, and move people between Circles. The experience here is very much the same as it is on the desktop.
Overall, the Google+ app provides an excellent way to interface with the Google+ social space while on the go. The interface has been cleaned up significantly, and all the functions are tucked neatly into the sliding side panel. Plus, Google+ has been optimized for tablets. The biggest downside I see is that the app is relatively large, taking up almost 30MB of memory. Still, whether you're a regular Google+ user or you're just interested in Instant Upload or Hangouts, you don't want to miss the Google+ app for Android.
- Enjoy magazine style layout in the new tablet version
- Automatically share photos to an Event with Party Mode
- Video chat with up to 9 friends with mobile Hangouts
- Turn on Instant Upload to sync photos from your phone to a private Google+ album
- Chat with a friend or all your friends at once with Messenger
- Check out the What's Hot stream to see trending topics
- View the Nearby stream to see what people near your location are saying
What's new in this version: - Tablet support
- New feature: Events with Party Mode
- Visual refresh and improved navigation
- Improved circle management
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All versions:3.8 stars
out of 5 votes
Current version:5.0 stars
out of 1 votes
My rating:Write review
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"Great social app, better than facebook in ways."
Version: Google+ 2.3
Easy to share, not quite one-click but it's not too bad. Over all I am impressed, it's got lots of functionality tucked into it if you take the time to learn to use it. It's not super intuitive but once you know that a brief tap or a long press brings up additional options to "+1" on a post, or edit something you've posted or commented on then you realize it's not too bad.
Large file size. For some reason Google hasn't figured this out, which you'd think they would cut it down a little since they're all about "the cloud". That and I don't see what wouls cause it to be so big as most apps with similar functionality come in a t much much smaller sizes. Google Currents is also a beautiful app but suffers from enormous file size as well and is similar in size to Google+.
Again not super intuitive but it's not too horrible, and a little testing can yield what you're looking for if patient.
The app automatically shares your location on posts if you have location services. I'd prefer to be notified when that is being shared with the world. You can remove it on the website version if you find it has shared that information.
Not all my friends are on G+, most are still on facebook. So sharing is a different beast. But that's something that'll change as more people adopt G+ and find it has some neat features.
Overall it's a great app. Beides the cons I listed above I found it nice to be able to share on mobile (something currently impossible on facebook's mobile app, and I can edit posts and comments I've made (again this has just barely rolled out to facebook's website, but is impossible to do from the mobile app).
As I mentioned above most of my family and friends are on facebook, and the ones on Google+ aren't very active. But I've found I interact with strangers a lot more on G+ than I ever did on facebook. It's just different because you can choose to make things private or public very easily every time you share something. And there are people with diverse interests who share their professions, hobbies, and philosophies. There are some stupid chain posts, like facebook seems to have been overrun with lately, but the interaction is just different and provokes conversation rather than "facebook stalking" everyone. Facebook just has that weird creepiness factor that turns you into a voyeur into your friend's lives, G+ on the other hand feels more about sharing and getting a message out, and conversing with your friends. It's just sad that more people don't use G+.
It's definitely worth a check out, so download it and try it. Don't expect facebook though, it's a different animal. Yes it has similar features to facebook but the two feel different. Of all the networks I've tried though I like Google+ a lot, and the app has it's own feel, but has been getting better with new updates.
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