Jun 28 AT 1:53 PM Alberto Vildosola 40 Comments

Google finally announces its social service: Google+ (Android app included)

Completely out of the blue, Google has announced its long-rumored Google+ service. At first look, Google+ shows a lot promise. It might even prove Google does understand (gasp!) social–and even UI/UX–design.

Google+ has many fun and interesting features. (You can read all about them here.) But the one thing we’re interested in is its Android app. The Google+ Android app is not only beautiful and well-designed, but it also has most of the features (and more) that you’ll find in the web version of Google+. This includes:

  • Circles–lets you share the right things with the right people.
  • Stream–where you can get updates from your circles or see what people are saying about things nearby.
  • Instant Upload–automatically uploads videos and photos to your own private album in the cloud, to make sharing a snap.
  • Huddle–a super-fast group messaging for everyone in your circles.

Circles, Stream and Huddle. Keep these three words in mind, as they’re sure to become a big part of the Google+ mobile experience. Interestingly, these three Google+ features are a lot like three other Google products; Circles is a much better version of Google Contacts, Stream is what Google Buzz should have been, and Huddle is Google Chat with group conversations. In one fell swoop, Google integrated a bunch of different products under one name. It’s beautiful.

Instant Upload is a particularly interesting feature. I could see myself using it a lot in the future. Basically, you setup Google+ to automatically upload photos and videos from your Android phone to the web. As Google explains, these photos and videos are uploaded to a private folder. So, you won’t need to worry about privacy issues here. We’ve yet to see how far Google will take Google+’s photo capabilities, but one has to wonder how Picasa fits into all this. More importantly, will Google allow unlimited data space in Google+ for our photos and videos? Why would I use Picasa then? We should see these questions answered as Google+ gets closer to public release.

Clearly missing from the Google+ app is the Hangout feature. This is a group video chat service I’m sure the guys at Skype (Microsoft) are watching closely. However, I’m pretty sure Google is already working to bring this feature to the Android app. After all, the thing isn’t even in beta yet. Only a few people even have access to it. If you want to become one of those very lucky people, you can request an invitation here. (Please note: at the time of this posting, Google+ has temporarily exceeded capacity).

That’s our quick summary of the Google+ Android app. You can also check out the videos and pictures below, or read more about it here. What do you guys think? Does Google has a winner with Google+? I certainly think so.


Google_Plus6 Google_Plus5 Google_Plus4 Google_Plus3 Google_Plus2 Google_Plus1

Source: Google

Alberto is a college student living somewhere between Miami, Sarasota and the World Wide Web. Although a former iPhone owner, Alberto is now a proud Android enthusiast. You can follow Alberto on Twitter and Google+ for his thoughts unworthy of an article.

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  • http://Website Dylan Andersen

    Out of the blue? Not quite. This has been rumored and speculated on and even leaked in some parts on TechCrunch and tons of other tech sites in the Bay Area.

    • http://Website Sean O

      Way to stay on top of ‘em Dylan

    • Alberto Vildosola

      Yes there were lots of rumors about this, but even TC recognized how much of Google+ they got wrong with their rumors. And I sincerely believe not that many people knew Google was ready to release Google+ this fast.

    • http://Website Dave

      Not to this level of depth, old boy.

  • http://varemenos.com/ Varemenos

    If anyone got an invite, please add meh!

  • keridel

    i have managed to get the apps on to my phone and tablet but i have yet to recieve an invite.

    it doesnt show up in my UK market though

  • 420speedwagon

    how do you get an invite? and will it survive unlike G Wave?

  • http://www.stroz.net Benjamin M. Strozykowski

    I keep getting a 500 error when trying to sign up for an invite :(

    • http://www.stroz.net Benjamin M. Strozykowski

      Nevermind, it works now!

  • http://Website Anthony

    This will be fantastic….if anyone actually uses it. The problem is Facebook has become so synonymous with social networking, it will be difficult for something like this to gain traction. Still, Android is proliferating, they’re gonna play nice with iPhone, and they have the app ecosystem to make it work, so I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. I’m all for something that offers this level of privacy and integration while trying to step beyond the Facebook model (even though this is an obvious slap in their face).

    • http://Website Marca

      Agree. Cant imagine my 20+ friends wil switch/ use google as alternative? Why? Because they also got 20+friends who probably wont switch. It seperates community again instead of adding depth.

      Its simple. The already established platform wins.

      • http://Website Chuck

        Exactly. Hence why MySpace is still king… oh wait, my bad. I just realized that what I just said is entirely wrong…

      • http://Website Lucian Armasu

        Not everyone has to switch now. Only the early adopter “types” – the “revolutionaries”. Just like they did when they switched from Myspace to Facebook. It wasn’t until years later when the mainstream started joining it. The thing is Google+ can be disruptive to Facebook, in the same way FB was disruptive to Myspace. Oh and many people still used both Myspace and FB accounts for a while. They didn’t have to “switch” immediately.

        Btw, I think google needs to put the +1 button on all app’s pages on the web market (and mobile version too). This would make discoverability of apps much better on the Google+ network. They should also *replace* all their “like” buttons on all the other services with +1(Youtube, Reader, etc). It’s redundant to have both, and much better to just use +1 and share what you like with your friends.

    • http://Website GeauxLSU

      The key will be to get this out into full release before facebook adopts the circles concepts. I hardly post anything on facebook b/c I don’t want everyone to see everything I post. If facebook starts to allow me to post things that only some of my friends can see and post something that a different group of friends can see before google+ fully rolls out, then this may not gain popularity. Otherwise, this may kill facebook like facebook killed myspace. afterall, once your parents like something, it’s not cool anymore.

      • http://Website Martin

        They have a “circles” concept on Facebook already, people just don’t know how to use it. For each post you make, you can include or exclude any person or persons as well as groups.

        So if I have a group called “Friends” and I want to make a suprise party for Ben who is a friend of mine I can do the following:

        “Suprise party for Ben – who wants to join in?”

        Show to: Friends

        Don’t show to: Ben

        This post will now be visable to all my “Friends”, but not to everyone I have friended on Facebook. And even though Ben is a part of the group “Friends”, the message will be hidden from him.

        • http://Website Problem

          … and then one of your brilliant friends decides to post the reply in the view of all because they are a moron?

    • http://Website —–

      now twitter will become more and more obsolete

    • http://Website Rev. Spaminator

      This may become a contender in the social networking space. This was designed with mobile apps in mind, something that is an afterthought for Facebook.

  • http://Website Gabriel

    I was able to get it on my Nexus One, but when it showed me available accounts it only displayed my gmail account and not my Google apps account (that is my primary account). I hope we get Google Apps access to this on launch.

  • http://Website AkDo

    Merge it with gtalk and add bbm style messaging with “read” feedback and finally bundle it with android so it’s integrated with all new handsets. That will get people using it and instead of people thinking “not again with the social network” they’ll think wow this is actually a really good IM featue which google can market as a social network also.


    invites are full already?!!! wow

  • http://Website lrsone

    There’s no way to get an invite for this…

  • http://Website Mr Fix

    Circles, Stream, Huddle.
    Ive met spaniards and italians and they cant speak english (not even say hello or bye).
    Haha good luck with that in europe…

    • http://Website Marin

      Well yes, that’s a valid reason for any project to go bust, not just this app. I guess we should just stop making applications and trying to improve anything, cause there are people in Spain and Italy who don’t speak English.

  • WickedToby741

    Its crucial for Google to play the iOS card too. This needs to be on every platform and not just as a website, but as an app. Heck, they should quickly roll out an iPad app and beat Facebook with theirs.

    • WickedToby741

      On second thought, add Windows Phone to that list too. Google+ could really take advantage of the tiles.

      • AME

        Going one step further in the Windows Phone 7 idea, Circles would be super cool in Xbox Live. Can you video chat with Kinect?

        All the sudden people are going to be making dinner plans via Call of Duty.

  • http://Website Stella

    I just signed up for my invite. I totally agree with @AkDo. Google needs to integrate Google+ with all the new headsets. When the feature is part of the Android platform, more users will be willing to give it a try and see the potential. Also, Google needs to make the iOS users happy by developing an app for them ASAP. The more users, the merrier…

  • http://Website Charlize79

    Cant wait for the iOS app, its much better than androids, as always.
    But facebook already introduced groups, so nobody will make the switch. My friends already said that facebook is so popular, you cant “AFFORD” to abandon it again….

    • http://Website Problem

      Like, OMG, your friends are like, so totally right! I can’t believe how like, smart they are!

  • http://Website Clarence

    (Google+) + Front Facing Camera + Google Voice = Game time

  • http://maxtechnewz.blogspot.com Max fadia

    hopefully people will actually use this. i don’t like Facebook alot but everyone is on it so its the best networking tool out now and i think they should cross platform to ios and rim (soon to be dead LOL) and i no they have the android app but i hope this dose not turn out like Google buzz.

  • http://Website WORLD

    Yeah, what is the difference between facebook groups and google+ circles?

    • http://Website Lucian Armasu

      A HUGE one. Circles is designed into Google+ from the ground-up, and it’s very easy and convenient for people to use it. Groups on Facebook is just a patch on their flawed system of sharing everything with everyone. Most people don’t use it, and it’s not something you can easily get into.

  • AME

    I’m super excited about getting to try this at some point. They need to roll it out in big clumps though otherwise you’re going to have people with the app, but no friends to share its features with. That’s what happened when I got Wave: the ultimate collaborative environment with no one to collaborate with.

    I would also like to say that Google made the sappiest promo videos for this product! Usually their videos are lighthearted and fun, but these make me think Google+ is for soul-searching and emotions.

    I still want it.

    • AME

      I just got Google+, but I haven’t been given any invites for me to pass out yet! So far I don’t have much to do on the site or the mobile app except contribute content to my one follower (the one who invited me). I’m looking forward to being able to have a more participatory experience soon.

  • http://www.mannuforall.in Manojr Tiwari

    Nice service, but we should wait for its full public availability to use it in better way with all of our friends.

  • http://Website Laurent

    No google apps support = No google+ love

  • E-man

    I want one!