30 Days With Google+: Day 16
A good mobile app is crucial for social networking. Google has its own mobile OS with Android, but it still has to appreciate the fact that many Google+ users have iPhones and iPads, and provide the iOS platform with an app capable of delivering the Google+ experience on the go. For today's 30 Days With Google+, I am exploring the Google+ iOS app.
There is, in fact, a Google+ app for iOS. It is pretty slick too, but it took me a while to find some of the features.
There are only five icons on the main Google+ iPhone app screen: Stream, Photos, Circles, Huddle, and Profile. When I click on Stream, I see the main Stream which essentially includes all of the posts and updates from anyone I am following in any of my Circles.
Viewing Google+ Streams
By default, the Google+ app has the default Stream, Nearby, and Incoming. Nearby shows updates from people near me in a geographic sense, and Incoming shows updates from people who are following me, but who I don't have in any Circles. I can switch between the different streams by swiping left or right.
I don't find either of those message streams of any interest. Nearby could be interesting in some situations, but as for people following me--no offense, but if I wanted to know what they were posting I would add them to a Circle.
Thankfully, I can customize the Streams. In the app settings, I can remove streams like Nearby and Incoming that I am not really interested in, and add some of my Circles to make the app more useful for me.
I can tap and individual post to open it up and read it in more detail and see any comments on it. When zoomed in on a single post like this, there is a "+1" button at the upper right, and a text box at the bottom of the post if I want to weigh in with my own two cents on the post.
Posting to Google+
At the top right of the Streams view are two little icons--a check mark for checking in to Google Places, and a pencil for writing a new post. These little icons eluded me at first--leaving me wondering why the app seemed to have no means of posting new updates or checking in on Google Places.
When I tap the checkbox, I am presented with a list of the nearby locations that are already in the Google Places database. If the place I want to check into isn't already in the database, though, there doesn't seem to be any way to add a new location from the app.
After I select a location, I can choose which Circles to share my Google Places check-in with, add a comment to post with the check-in, and add a photo. There are two icons for photos--one to take a new photo, and another to add a photo that is already on the iPhone or iPad.
Clicking on the pencil icon to write a new post presents essentially the same input screen. There is a text box for typing a comment, a field for choosing which Circles to share the post with, a field that marks your location if you choose to, and the same two icons to take a picture or add one from your photo library.