Google+ App Hands-On (Review)

Google’s numerous attempts to move in on the social networking space haven’t been met with success, Buzz being one of the most notable failures. That seems to be changing with Google+. The search engine internet giant is trying again to be social and so far the response has been positive. The change is easy for so many because many of those users already have Google accounts. The interface looks a lot like Facebook, but friends and posts are easier to manage. It should be no surprise that the official iPhone app come shortly after the Google+ debut.

The UI is basic and will take only a minute or two to get used to. In the main menu, users will find Stream, Huddle, Photos, Profile and Circles. Down at the bottom are Notifications, and the top-left is a gear for settings. Your Stream is populated with posts. Most notable in this app is the Nearby Stream, which shows posts from people around you (these posts only show up when someone “Checks In” to a location, meaning you do not have to worry about your location given away without your making a point to post it publicly, as you would on Facebook when checking into a location.

The Stream is where most of your Google+ activity happens. Photos and Profile are what you’d expect, as are Circles and Notifications.

New to the mobile version is Huddle. Huddle is Google’s answer to SMS, or iOS 5’s group messaging. The idea is that you gather a few of your friends and you can exchange messages back and forth. For instance, if you’re all planning a party, friends within the Huddle can talk amongst each other. Everyone involved in the chat receives these, hopefully eliminating the possibility of someone being out of the know.

If you’re a Google+ user, you should definitely take a look. It’s much better than the iPhone Facebook app in terms of layout. The application is free, so give it a shot.

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