We all like to get previews of new things coming out and I am certainly no exception. When I heard that a new version of the Google+ Android app had leaked and was online, I jumped at the opportunity to see what was under the hood.
For the past week I have been running an unreleased 2.0 version of the Google+ App on my Android Droid 3 cell phone and Motorola Xoom tablet (Although the look and feel should be the same for IOS devices). This version was pulled from a future Android phone running the new ICS operating system so you should please keep that in mind. This is not finalized software and I am sure Google is not thrilled about it being released out in the open for people to tinker with. Plenty of things can still change before this is finalized, but I wanted to share with you my thoughts and showcase some of the new interface.
Right off the bat I noticed that all of the features and functions of the app are more polished. They have a more professional feel to them and everything just looks clean and crisp. The two thing I noticed when opening the app for the first time is that the notification bar was on the top (much like the desktop counter part) and that “Messenger” was renamed to “Chord”.
When you click on the “Profile” icon on the main screen, you are greeted with a much more aesthetically pleasing layout. Each of the three main sections (Posts, About and Photos), look a lot better. The photo thumbnails look great, the paragraph format and hyperlinking are cleaner then before and overall it offers a more enjoyable experience.
When you click on the “Stream” icon on the home page, you are taking the the “Main Stream” screen, which looks familiar, but the icons at the top of the screen are slightly different. You can still swype your finger left or right to check out the Nearby or Incoming post streams as well. When you click on the “Create a Post” icon (in the top right), you get a new publish a post screen. At the bottom of the screen you can choose to include your GPS location, take a photo or pull a photo from a gallery that is already on your phone. The new image selector (when you choose to include a photo in a post) is great. It has a nice layout and you can easily select multiple images to include in a post.
*sadly I could not find an option to choose which album the photos from a post go into, which probably means they still go to “Photos from Posts”, which is a a problem for me. I like to keep my photos organized on G+. This is one of my most requested features for the mobile app, maybe it will still make it into the final version…who knows?
While the “Chord” (formerly both Huddle and Messenger) section is not that different, the new layout for the “Circle” section is great. Again it has a more polished look and cleaner interface.
Lastly are two features that seem to be great additions (when they work). First is that mentioning an individual (By using the + or @ symbol) is much easier and offers a beautiful thumbnail of the person you are looking for. This makes it much easier to tag someone in a post or comment. For this demo, I was tagging Tony Wang, the executive producer for TWiT Photo, a show I know we all love. The second exciting feature is that it looks like they are working on allowing us to edit our comments from the Mobile App. While I could not get this feature to actually work, you can see from the screenshot below that it is a feature that is integrated and ment to function. I am sure by the time this version comes out, this will be a fully working feature.
There you have it, a quick preview of the 2.0 version of the Google+ Mobile Application. As I said before, this is not a finalized version and I am sure there are still some tweaks and changes to come before it is released (WHICH I HAVE NO IDEA WHEN THAT WILL BE). Lots of great new features…can’t wait to try this out when Google thinks it is ready!