Just a few days ago Google announced their latest social contender. Hoping to achieve victory in the social networking market where Google Wave and Buzz failed, Google’s latest social project Google+ (Google Plus) is designed to be more of a Facebook competitor than any other social network.
Google+ is filled with the ability to connect to friends, see what individuals are discussing, group your social networks into various “circles” and even video chat with large groups. The platform is still in early field testing and we here at Maciverse have been lucky enough to be part of that test.
After we got our account setup and configured we quickly took to our iPhones and iPads to see how ready Google+ was for Mobile. Unfortunately, the official Google+ native app for iOS is not yet available but listed as “Coming Soon” on Google’s site. Our guess is that Google submitted the app to Apple shortly after they announced the product so we’re waiting on the App Store approval process before the app will be distributed.
Google+ is already available for free on Android 2.1+ phones for free. We expect the price to be free also on iOS platforms.
Google+ is Mobile Ready via the Browser
After we discovered the native app was not yet available for iOS platforms, we quickly opened Safari and navigated to http://plus.google.com and signed in with out Google Account credentials.
Google+ on the iPhone and iPad via the browser is similar to the experience you’ll find on a Computer. Most of the features are available including the ability to create new circles, manage your people contacts, view user streams, and view photos.
One additional feature is to view the stream of public communications by other Google+ users close to your physical location. Google uses your GPS location to pull in this information, however, for me it was including communications from individuals about 35 miles away. Not the expected distance I was looking for.
Without a native app, it does not look like individuals will be able to join Google+ Hangouts on their iPhone and iPad. Hangouts are a feature to allow you to quickly “hangout” with groups of people through video conferences. This feature is probably the most impressive of all those on the mobile platform as it is great at switching the main video to individuals that are currently speaking. We completely expect this feature to be part of the native iOS Google+ app.
Here are some additional pictures from the iPhone and iPad: