Jul 05 AT 1:13 AM Clark Wimberly 69 Comments

Android and Me staff looks back at first few days with Google+

Over the past few days a good portion of our hours have been lost to the wiles of Google+. We’ve all been on Google+ since the end of June and we thought now would be a good time to take a quick look back at what we think of the service. Android and Me staffers sound off below:

[avatar id="44"] Anthony Domanico

What I really like about Google+ thus far is how fast everything is. Updates are in real-time, and scrolling through the various posts and photo streams is both fluid and speedy, unlike with Facebook. Things also seem to be much more polished than Facebook as well. The photo stream is gorgeous, for example.

The main thing I don’t like about Google+ is how fast everything is. It is way too easy to get caught up in Google+, and time just gets lost after a while. That would be really good if Google+ was all I needed to do all day every day, but alas I have a real job and need to, you know, generate some content on Android and Me. Also, huddles and hangouts could be implemented a bit better, perhaps cross-platform or support for devices with FFC?

Either way, Google+ is a very promising social network. I truly hope it remains intuitive over time, as that’s the only way they’re going to steal business from Facebook.

[avatar id="23434"] Russell Holly

The first hour with Google+ was a little jarring. Sure, I’d watched the videos and seen the hype across the social sphere, but when you get there, it’s still not extremely clear WHAT it is until you start using it. Once you’ve made that effort though, it’s an extremely cool service. Hangouts and Huddles are amazing, though I would like to see Hangouts in Mobile and Huddles on the browser. The Gchat implementation on Google+ is cool, but the +(name) feature doesn’t work there, which I hope they fix.

All in all this is an extremely cool first step, and I implore anyone who chooses to use Google+ right now to take a healthy interest in using the Submit Feedback button over and over and over again. By voicing your opinions at this stage Google+ is only going to get better.

[avatar id="25244"] Jess Blanchard

Ah, the early adopter’s thrill. For those less fortunate souls who have yet to gain access to Google+, here are my initial thoughts:

This service is one fully-integrated social media monster. And it’s intuitive, too. While hanging out in Google Hangouts, I was notified that a buddy of mine was watching YouTube. Did I want to join? Of course. With the click of a button, I was viewing content in real-time with someone halfway across the world. Sure, it was weird Danish music that I didn’t much care for or understand, but the experience was still awesome.

The notifications bar was a bit tricky at first. Google+ heard we like to click on stories in the notifications bar, so they designed this functionality to let us do it. Now that I’ve gotten the hang of it, it’s not so bad. And I like that I can view the latest comments and activity without navigating away from my Stream.

And one quick comment on Circles: They rock. So much better than Facebook Groups. Circles are an integral part of how Google+ operates, and it makes selective, controlled sharing painless and accessible. There’s no digging through privacy settings to make sure your grandmother didn’t see you drop the F-bomb on the internet.

The way things are going (and if I had my way), Facebook and Twitter will go the way of the dodo.

[avatar id="8803"] Nick Gray

Having only used Google+ for a few days, it’s hard to judge the service. There are a few issues that need to be sorted out (Hangouts/Huddles) and a few issues with the mobile app (failed posts and the inability to click on links) but Google+ appears to be destined for success. The reason Facebook killed off all the other social networks was because it encouraged interaction and communication between its members rather than focusing on mundane static content that you had to hunt around for. Google+ capitalizes on that notion and pushes it even further by allowing users to segregate the people they follow and choose who to share content with. Google+ still has a long journey ahead before it can even come close to competing with Facebook but it’s certainly one of the most innovative new web services of 2011.

[avatar id="23509"] Edgar Cervantes

While other social networks are good in their own ways, I have found no need for them since I’ve had the luck to join Google+. I have only used the other networks to share Android and Me content, since at the moment they have a larger user base. Aside from that though, I went into Facebook only once to say: “So, Google+ pretty much rocks! Just thought I would stop by and let you guys know. I am going back there! See ya!”

What makes Google+ better is that it is very easy to use and intuitive, and it seems like Google has taken into account the way we interact in “real life.” Circles play a big role in the Google+ environment, just like in our daily lives. We all (or most) have a real “circle of friends,” and we talk and act in different ways depending on the circle of people we are interacting with. Relatively, Google+ Circles allow you to limit what certain people can and can not have access to. There are also Hangouts, in which one can video chat, text chat, share YouTube videos, and just, well… hang out. It resembles the way we usually group around a computer to check out those amusing videos online. But if you want to take your chat everywhere you go, there is also “Huddle,” which comes with the Google+ Android app.

Of course, there are still some issues with Google+ (as it has just been born) like the fact that you can’t “Huddle” on a PC or “Hangout” from your Android app. Though, I definitely see Google’s new social network gaining momentum and reaching the top soon. Considering that such issues can be easily fixed, Google+ is very simple, fun, intuitive and even addictive (Have you guys noticed that our articles are not rolling out as often?). Can’t wait to see what else Google has for us!

[avatar id="6720"] Alberto Vildosola

Where do I start? Oh, I know. I absolutely love this thing! I love Circles, I love Hangout, I love Instant Upload on my phone, I love the way Google+ integrates with Picasa, I love that it is a Google service, I love the design and fun animations, and more importantly, I love that I can finally dump Facebook. Which is exactly what I did. I moved all my contacts using the Facebook Friend Exporter and exported all my Facebook photos using Facebook’s own export tool.

I know some of you might say: “But Alberto, how can you leave THE social network for a buggy, unreleased, service from Google?” And the answer is really simple: Google is betting the whole company on the success of Google+. They won’t let it fail like Wave and Buzz, because they simply can’t afford to. Wired’s Steven Levy wrote a great article recently on how Google+ came to be, which I recommend everyone to read. In it, Steven explains how Google+ (Emerald Sea) “was a bet-the-company project” and a “lengthy and urgent effort involving almost all of the company’s products.” And it shows. Just hours after people found the first privacy “loophole” on Google+, the company had a fix for it.

In addition to lightning-fast fixes based on users’ feedback, the amazing features in Google+ are only a fraction of what Google has planned for the social network. According to Wired, there are well over 100 more launches on Google’s calendar related to Google+. We already caught a glimpse of two of these “launches”: Google+ Games and Google+ Questions. Before you yell: “But I hate Farmville!” Let me tell you that I truly believe that Google has learned from Facebook’s mistakes of letting people inundate your news feed with Mafia Wars updates. Google might even one-up Facebook by making Google+ Games much more than just a bunch of Flash-based games. As some of you might know, Google wants to make web apps as powerful as native apps. Using things like WebGL and Native Client, we could start seeing web games that rival those on our PCs and consoles. If you just smiled at the thought of launching Modern Warfare 2 right from a Hangout, you’re not alone. So yeah, I love Google+ and what it could become.

[avatar id="4184"] Sean Riley

Google+ is a very interesting effort by Google in the social space as its design is flexible enough that it can just as easily be your Twitter, your Facebook, your Picplz, your Tinychat, and your messaging client all in one. To be clear that’s what I’ve discovered in the first 48 hours, I have no doubt it can be quite a bit more.

As you’ll see some of the other AAM crew note, that makes G+ an insane time suck, it’s as if someone rolled almost all of the most addictive features of the internet together into one giant time devouring monster. If Google adds some casual gaming into this, as rumors suggest they will, we may start seeing casualties.

People have expressed concerns that Facebook is trying to be the internet, a la AOL in the early 90s, but with Google+ added to its existing lineup of services I’d say that Google just leapfrogged Facebook in that quest. That is, of course, if they can get the users.

That’s the one big piece that I’m not sold on with Google+ yet and that’s whether the average user will take to it as easily or as willingly as the early adopters. Everyone cites how simple and intuitive the interface is and, while I agree, I’m too inside the bubble with all of the other tech fanatics that have clamored their way onto Google+ at this early stage. While we marvel at all of the different things that we are able to do with Google+ I think it’s possible that the average user may become bogged down in all of the options that are available right out of the gate.

Then again maybe they won’t and Google+ will take over the internet and I’m officially okay with that as damn it’s good.

And you, the reader?

What do you think of Google+? Is it living up to the hype? As a site, we’re seeing a ton of engagement over there, so it would seem that a lot of you are taking to it quite nicely. Now that you might have had a chance to take a few days with the service, what’s the verdict?

Clark is a developer living in Austin, Texas. He runs ClarkLab, a small web firm with his wife, Angie. He's a big fan of usability, standards, and clean design.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • http://philnolan3d.com Phil

    I’m still waiting for my first day…

    • http://Website Marta

      i agree, i will stick to facebook.
      Its better than google-

  • http://alangerow.com Alan Gerow

    Alberto Vildosola’s comments are DEAD ON to how I feel. Except I’ll keep my Facebook account open, because it costs nothing to maintain an unused account.

    I’m going to circle Alberto Vildosola. Yeah, that doesn’t work.

  • http://Website John D

    I have yet to gain access to Google+. From what I’ve read, I really like many of the ideas behind it. However, I became quite sceptical when I read this article: http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2011/07/how-google-transformed-picasa-web.html

    In brief, it says what Google+ does with your Picasa albums: *anybody* you tag in a single photo in an album you’ve uploaded, will get shared access to *the whole* album. And anybody you’ve shared an album with, can also share it forward with anybody else (which again can forward share it and so on).

    Yes, I can see this being useful in several scenarios, but to make it the default (and only!) option, I consider close to a breach of my privacy. I really hope Google reconsiders on this. Until then, I’ll think twice before signing up and telling Google+ integrate with my Picasa Web albums…

    • http://Website J.


      While that is the default setting (and it’s VERY clearly explained exactly what permissions others receive by default), it is an incredibly simple setting change to solve this “problem”. It is literally a drop down menu and a single click.

      This is nothing to be worried about, and the change is local to the album, or to the post you share the picture in, so those awesome pics of your crew at the beach? Share away! Those awesome pics of your crew at the club, after the beach? The ones where you had one to many Long Island Ice Teas? Lock ‘em down!

      • http://Website John D


        Thank you for your input. If this is really the way it is, I’m much more relieved. Still waiting waiting for access to Google+, but I’ll be sure to check out those details very carefully when I do.

      • http://Website John D


        I’m not sure you are correct – or we might be speaking of slightly different things. I’m not referring to Google+ posts or photos, but what happens to your Picasa Web Albums when you sign up for Google+ (as described here: http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2011/07/how-google-transformed-picasa-web.html).

        On this Picasa Help page (http://picasa.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=1321133) it says: When you sign up for Google+, you’ll see all of your Picasa Web albums on your Google+ photos homepage.

        About tags in particular (http://picasa.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=1306701) it is said the following:
        When you sign up for Google+, all existing name tags in Picasa Web Albums remain unchanged. For new tags created in Google+ or Picasa Web Albums…
        * For limited visibility photos, anyone that can see the photo can add a tag.
        * The person tagged will be given permission to view the album, and they’ll also then have the ability to share it.

        I do _not_ want everybody I tag in a single photo to get access to the whole album that photo is a part of (not even necessarily the photo they are tagged in). And even less, I do not want people tagged in a single photo to be able to share my whole album with anybody else outside of my control!

        (And according to the blogger from the first post I linked to, there is no option to control this behaviour.)

  • http://Website Marcus Nolasco

    I am also waiting for my first day :( I wanna try it so badly!

  • E-man

    I want a G+ account! Anyone out there able to send me an invite? I understand that they are at capacity right now, but I still want an account!

    • http://Website dandroid

      I’ll send you an invite, because your profile pic is awesomesauce! Just give me your email.

      • http://Website Mike

        I don’t have a cool pic but would love an invite if at all possible.

        [email protected]

      • E-man

        Hey dandroid, if you’re still up for it please send me that invite to [email protected]
        Thank you.

  • http://Website Peter

    G+ seems to be only for the happy few. No access to it here.

  • http://Website Comet

    It’s a good start. Facebook has a huge advantage but it’s not unbeatable and history shows that no one is invulnerable.
    Google has consistently played their cards right by trying to “sell” the idea that their not evil or at least less evil than the competition.
    Facebook on the other hand has had some bad press on how they protect their consumers. There are many people that want a fresh start in a more controled social network.
    The hard part will be bringing 3rd party support. Facebook connect is available in so many sites worldwide. Everyone knows what the Like button is for. And most sites are capable of posting directly to Facebook.
    Not even mentioning that Facebook has tons of applications. It won’t be an easy task for Google. They’ll have to consistently bring similar features but better.
    But than again its not like they haven’t been able to pull this off before.
    I plan on making Google+ my main social network but it can take years to convince all my friends to do the same.

  • AME

    I hope I’m not jinxing Google+ by saying that I was really impressed with Wave too. Google knows how to make collaborative tools and this is a great one! The UI is smooth and intuitive. For now it is a much more streamlined version of a social network. Of course, that will change when they throw in games and integrate their other products. I hope they can maintain the same intuitiveness that they have now.

    Not to sound too weird, but I’m really curious how the tween generation is going to take to this. It is not at all flashy or obnoxious like Facebook. Interestingly, according to the Levy article mentioned by Alberto, Facebook is just above the IRS in user satisfaction so G+ should be able to make some serious inroads in the social networking world here.

  • http://Website Dude

    Hi everybody,

    you made me curious….an invitation would be much appreciated ;)
    derkleinedude at gmx .de


    • http://Website Tiuri


      • http://Website Peter Frandsen

        Well, if you are handing those out I would love to get one for pfrandsen at gmail dot com ;-)

  • http://Website Mark Thurman

    Google needs to get their asses in gear for Google Apps accounts. Feeling like a second class citizen.

  • http://Website andy-roid

    I would like to have a first day I get invited to nothing I can’t even get invite to Google -

  • http://www.winniekepala.com WinnieKepala

    Like many of you guys, I love Google+ as well. I’m already in love with what I can do with it today and the potential is has. Can’t wait for Google Reader redesign and integration. That would save me time in link sharing.

    I am already seeing it as my Facebook replacement. I also maintain my Twitter profile for followers of my blog. I was lucky to have 2 G+ profiles – one personal, one public for my blog readers.

    However, G+ is good enough to replace both Facebook and Twitter for me – with Circles.

    My dilemma is : whether I should continue to keep both profiles or just one. It’s a silly issue, really, when G+ can be both my personal and public profile… In one.

    • http://Website Rayyan

      Having two separate accounts/profles belongs in the ’90s. Like you, I had two email addresses up to a few years ago. I even have two twitter accounts. With g+? No longer necessary.

      • Dave K

        I still have two separate Gmail addresses, one that I give out only to people I know personally, the other for anything and everything else (web site logins, banking, Facebook, etc.). The level of spam on my main address is just about zero.

        As for having two separate profiles in Google+, I think that in some ways defeats the purpose of the concept of Circles. Each Circle is basically already a different profile, segregating the content however you’d like. So I don’t think you gain anything by having multiple Google+ profiles.

        I do think some of these staff reviews are overly rosy and unrealistic. Dumping Facebook because of Google+? Really? Maybe in the future, certainly not now. And comparing the speed of Google+ with the speed of Facebook is ridiculous at this stage. With over 600 million users, of course Facebook is going to be slower than Google+, with it’s small number of test users and tiny amount of content.

        For now Google+ is just something to keep an eye on. Since there’s very little content, very few users, and almost nothing works with it yet (3rd party applications, even some of Google’s own applications), it is way too soon to say it’ll be a Facebook killer, or will even succeed at all. Sure, Facebook pisses me off sometimes, and competition is always great, but let’s not jump the gun.

  • http://Website Melusi Zwangobani

    Pretty much agree with Alberto Vildosola. Since getting G+ I’ve barely even LOOKED at any other social networking site and it’s given me the perfect excuse to final leave Facebook. I think I’ll be posting my own status soon, and leaving, once G+ opens their gates to everyone.

  • http://Website James

    I am waiting to try this out, does anyone have a spare invite?….

  • http://Website Ben 1.0

    I’m also eagerly awaitng for Google+ to be opened up to everyone, it sounds excellent. Sadly I haven’t been able to snag an invite!

  • http://Website Rayen

    Great article.
    I cannot wait to ditch Facebook. ;-)

  • http://Website SnadBoy

    …the wiles of Google+…

  • http://Website toothpaste

    dr.toothpaste at gmail dot com……send me an invite ……………..thanks!!!!!

  • http://Website nastysquar3d

    I never joined Facebook (despite my friends hounding me daily to do so) because of privacy concerns. However, I will be joining Google+ if I’m ever able to get an invite / they open it up to the public. I really like the Circles aspect, since segregation was my main concern with Facebook. I don’t want my HS “acquaintances” to see the same things that I share as my close friends.

    Plus I’m sure the integration with my Android phone will be fantastic.. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future of this service.

    P.S. If anyone wants to send me an invite I would be incredibly appreciative :) (google handle: sanzone)

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

    i love google+ and will continue using it since the start of it i have been using Facebook less

  • http://www.niola.net Jon Niola

    Still waiting for improved controls over the stream, ie ability to filter out certain circles from the main stream, control over sort options etc.

  • http://Website Michelle

    Can anyone tell me how to get an invite? I wanna try G+ out so badly. :(

  • http://Website Michael

    My verdict is…how do you get an invite?

  • http://Website val

    can people outside us access Google+? I received an invite but no ideahow to sign up? there’s only the ‘learn more’ button link but it denies me of signing up ::(

    could I get an invite again? [email protected]

  • http://Website nawlins411

    Nawlins411,, New Orleans brother here in need of an invite please

  • http://Website Joshua

    love the differing views of this service & hope they get all the kinks worked out (mobile group video chat would be awesome!)

    And now i’m betting 75% of this comment section is going to turn into a “Send Me an Invite Please” beg-session. i hate reading articles on Google+ and seeing a bajillion comments all saying nothing but “add me!”.

    PEOPLE! beta is closed right now. even if you get an invite, you won’t be able to register to access it. stop asking. go to the site, sign up & wait for an email from google telling you it’s open & you can sign up.

    • http://Website Futureboy

      …so… does this mean you won’t sent me an invite? =D

      But seriously, unless you work for Google, you can’t say for sure that they won’t re-open the beta and only allow the invitees – and keep it that way for a while. Their website even says “we’ll let you know when we’re ready to invite more people.” (Key phrase there is “ready to INVITE”). So to me, this means they will be allowing another wave of invitees into the beta before they open it up to the frothing hordes pounding at the gate.

      That said, if anyone is feeling rather benevolent today, you can send an invite to filtermonster at you know where. I’ll be sure to pay it forward.

  • http://Website st4xor

    I really hope Google+ becomes as popular as (or more popular than) Facebook. Something like circles should have been in Facebook a long time ago. And its awesome how Google has the feedback button right at the bottom of every page. I hope the feedback button sticks around even after the “field test” stage.

  • http://Website Ken

    I’ve had Google+ since Friday. From an average consumer’s point of view – it’s pretty useless right now. :) I’m sure that the tech geeks and bloggers are all excited because they got in early and probably have a lot of contacts that got in as well. Me? I have a whole two people that are on there that I know. Tried inviting others, but they’ve locked that up. So right now, for me, it’s a social network without the social – or the network. :D

  • http://Website Jose

    I want invitation to google+ :-(

  • http://Website jawabba

    invite is greatly appreciated joshuajallen @ Gmail dot com

  • http://Website Keef

    Still waiting :( l

  • http://Website a-Vance-in-wait

    I requested my account when news of Google+ first launched but a las, I was too late! I’ve been a beta tester for Wave, Buzz, Music, and I reeeeeeeally want G+. HELP ME!

  • http://Website BeN

    I cant imagine the awesome app for android about google+ …

    i need an invitation, i want to try google+

  • http://Website Ryan

    I can’t wait to find out how well a “Bat-shit insane Exes” circle will be. I’m curious what precautions Google has taken for the evolution of peoples connections.

    I can’t describe how annoying it is to de-tag yourself from photos others have taken that you don’t want the public (prospects) to see anymore. That’s my current grief with Facebook. There’s a battle of what you want of yourself public and what others want of yourself public.

  • http://Website luntcicker

    I told my fellow facebookians………
    and they said they dont give a damn about google plus!

    Ouch, facebook is too strong.

  • http://Website Skee

    Can someone hook me up with a invite..
    [email protected]

  • http://Website troy

    I have G+ and i really like the GUI. Seems way more chill then Facebook and i fell a whole lot better about google handeling my privacy than i do with Facebook. When more people start to get accounts, ill be looking to stop using my Facebook. It will be nice to finally release those social network bonds held by Facebook. This may not be what everyone is looking for but i am looking for a more intimate network, not my current 500 friends on Facebook. Plus Zuckerberg is a prick

  • http://Website Hans Gabrielsen

    Google + invite please ;o)
    [email protected]
    Thanks in advance

  • http://Website jerry

    GOOGLE + might be the best thing since sliced bread but everything will go unnoticed until it cathes a “buzz”

  • http://Website Sean

    I enjoy using it. I also added your staff so I could interact with them and have enough content on my streams to actually use it and give feedback. I don’t think your staff was ready for their google+ profiles to be given out though since a few of them have given a “who are you people and why am I in your circle?” type post. In the future you might give them a heads up and explain to them you gave it out. Or inform them the following circle is similar to twitter and many of us who follow you all there wanted to do so in Google+

  • http://Website kyle

    Any more invites left?


    Please send me an invite to [email protected]


    Plzzz send invite to [email protected]

  • http://Website john p

    Just wishing for an invite.

  • http://Website Matt

    I would appreciate an invite.


  • http://Website Sergio

    An invite+ , please! ;)
    Thanks in advance

    • http://Website Stephen

      whats ur email i gotta couple laying around somewheres….. ;)

  • http://Website roger

    Can I get an invite? I’m interested in this :)

  • dan.harris

    Any chance of an invite please? I’d be eternally grateful to be able to leave facebook!

  • http://Website Charlie

    Anyone still got some invites? Can’t wait to try it out!

  • http://Website zuanie

    would u

    invite me to the google+

    a lot of thanks b4


  • http://Website Brian Hightower

    I’ve got some invites. Willing to hand out what I can.


  • Connect

    Day one with Google+ and its looking promising. Hopefully they listen to our feedback.

  • http://Website tottyrice

    i<3it! now i just have to wait till all my important friends to have an account so i could delete FB.

  • http://tinyurl.com/gplusgplus Aaron

    I have invites click the link and I will invite you!

    • http://Website aaron

      forgot the link: tinyurl.com/gplusgplus

  • http://Website Sudheer

    Cool start of google…
    I have down a work around and its… .AWESOME… FENTABULOUS….:)

    Hope it goes crazier than FB….