May 24 AT 8:50 AM Taylor Wimberly 30 Comments

Google+ for Android gets a visual refresh


Early this month Google released a major update for their Google+ mobile app, but it was only available on Apple’s iOS. Today Google announced that redesigned Google+ was finally making its way to Android.

We continue to work toward a simpler, more beautiful Google, and today we're accelerating these efforts with a new Google+ app for Android phones.Vic GundotraSenior Vice President

The big new feature is that mobile users can now start a hangout from their phone, but lots of other changes were included as well. New improvements include:

  • Visual refresh of the stream and improved navigation
  • Initiate a hangout from the main menu
  • Support for ringing hangout notification
  • Support for post editing
  • Messenger suggestions for people you may know
  • Download photos from posts or Messenger conversations

Grab the latest update from the Google Play Store link below and let us know what you think. Don’t forget to add +Android and Me to your circles if you want to chat and share Android related stories with us.


2.6.1 2.6.2 2.6.3 2.6.4 2.6.5 2.6.6 2.6.7

Source: Google Blog

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • dpleus

    *Head shaking in confusion*
    I find it disturbing that even Google seems to be catering to iOS users. I’ve yet to see Apple release a Facetime app on the Android market. So why is Google updating iOS apps before their own native Android apps.

    • Escobar

      They say that it was because of the extra functionality built inside the Android app. They started both apps at the same time but wanted to put something extra inside the Android app. Probably the Hangouts feature?

      About the update: I think it looks better, but it really isn’t handier…

    • Max.Steel

      Jeez. Who cares? We got the update. Download it and keep moving.

    • UndergroundWire

      It is quite possible that they have two different teams working on Google+. An iOS team and a Android Team. Also, I have both the Galaxy Nexus (LTE) and an iPhone 4S. I can tell you that the iOS version wasn’t as good as the Android version. iOS needed that release badly. Just worry about what you have and not what others have.

      As for Google catering to iOS; Google has always been like that. I would be shaking my head in confusion if they weren’t catering to iOS users. Apple caters outside of their bubble when it would be suicide not to (iTunes, iCloud Photo Stream). Do you really think Google is making Google+ for Android users only. That is extremely silly and a bit childish way of thinking. Wouldn’t you agree?

    • Homncruse

      More often than not, Google updates Android versions before iOS. This Google+ update was an oddity. And if memory serves me correctly, the iOS version was out-of-date compared to the Android version (i.e., it skipped an update).

    • Jon Garrett

      *Head shaking in confusion*

      How do I get a ‘Page’ like Android and Me and other sites have instead of being forced to use my name?

      any tips?

  • LittleGreenDude

    How come the update came to iOS first? It has google in its name. I would think the android app would be top priority. I understand that iOS had more devs, but still.

  • ranwanimator

    Yeah, because THAT will get people to use it.

  • halo0

    Looks like they tried to copy what the facebook updated did with making pictures larger. Unfortunately the G+ stream looks really cluttered and some images are distorted in the name of making them fill the width of the screen. And what’s with the text on top of images? Can’t say I’m liking this so far.

    • halo0

      oops, *update

    • wowdude

      Google updated the iOS app with this same look before facebook updated their app with the larger pictures, if anything facebook reacted to G+. No one wants to copy facebook, they are on their way down.

    • cthonctic

      Yeah, it’s a pretty annoying change and throws usability out of the window in favor of a bit more flashy presentation. I think this could have been done better.

    • UndergroundWire

      This update came to iOS first before Facebook copied Google. Nice try though.

  • Omertron

    Well, having just used the “awesome” update ( I can safely say that Google are doing their best to drive people away from using it on their mobiles.

    It makes a complete mess of my feed, impossible to read the stories that any images attached because it blows them up and overlays the text on them. So you get a badly cropped picture and text that blends into the picture so you can’t really see either of them properly.

  • jamal adam

    It’s simpler, more intuitive, and looks beautiful. Keep these updates coming.

    • halo0

      You’re joking right? The stream is an absolute mess.

    • Justin Shapcott

      I’ve actually found it the complete opposite of simpler, more intuitive, and beautiful. But… to each his own, I suppose.

  • spazby

    i get why google has this for ios but get updates for android users first…

  • Derek

    google+ sucks.

    • HeLLo

      Hey just like your mom.

  • clell

    I think it looks great. I dont see any distorted images and or messed up feed on my device.

    • halo0

      Only because the content of the posts you see isn’t right to cause it. Once you have a post with a low-res pic or one that is not the proper aspect ratio you will see it. Also, if the background behind the text happens to be whitish the text is unreadable. It all depends on what photos are in your stream.

    • halo0

      Here’s an example of distorted images. Vic is trying to show off how good the update looks, but the screen shots he himself posts are stretched and shitty looking when displayed by the G+ stream!

      • shadhussain

        thanks for the post. so it’s not just v2.3, it looks equally shitty on v4.0. where was duartes when the g+ UI team decided to butcher all design principles? maybe they could’ve gotten the google currents team to help out even?

  • shadhussain

    I’m a big supporter of g+ but g+ on android just got a lot worse! How is this simpler and more beautiful!? On Android 2.3, they only changed what the stream looks like: weird mix of shades and transparencies of blacks, terribly scaled over-sized photos, harsh white text … it’s just a mess. Even Facebook has done better. I’m feeling sad.

    • shadhussain

      and how all this fits in with the holo design guidelines, i don’t know. hoping it looks better on android 4.0. is it tablet-friendly?

      • Omertron

        I’m hoping that it looks stunning on a tablet to offset the utter mess it is on the phone!

        • Will Moody

          It’s actually even worse on tablet. Imagine the exact interface as on phones, but huge. And if you’re in landscape (Which I will remind you is the preferred orientation for Android tablets) the pictures don’t even fill the whole screen, traveling only a little over halfway across the screen before leaving the rest of the post’s bar as useless black space.

          I’m a staunch G+ supporter, but they really dropped the ball on this one. What’s with the sliding Facebook menu? It’s like the UI team said, “What can we do to be more like the most reviled social app available?”

  • JessSayin

    Google+, is that like Wave or Buzz?

  • Bon

    It’s hard to read and needs a lot of scrolls since I get a view of 2 posts per screen.
    It looks cheaply flashy. Why can’t they make it to have a feel of something like “Currents”.