Google+, for the uninitiated, is Google’s foray into social networking, optimised mainly for mobile devices. It’s a mixture of Facebook, Twitter and other networks, hoping to draw in more people into Google’s web of services via their mobile device.
Take its Circles, for example, which enables you to place friends and family into different groups (people can reside in more than one), making it easy to choose who to share what with. Whisper it quietly, but Facebook already does this, albeit not so elegantly.
Google+ also features Hangouts, a means of chatting with other like-minded (and available) friends via your webcam. Huddle is designed to make organising events and meetups easier by pulling all those disparate texts into a single, coherent conversation. There’s also Sparks, whereby Google will chuck web content – articles, videos and the like – your way for reading in your spare time, based on what you claim to be your interests.
All of this will be accessible via your computer should you be so inclined, but Google+ is definitely optimised for mobile devices, hence this app. It offers most of the Google+ functionality, but annoyingly omits the Hangouts feature, which reduces its appeal somewhat. If you can live without this for now (we hope Google will include it in a later release), however, you’ll find a speedy, polished app that will help keep you in touch from your mobile device.
Google+ 4.5.0 brings these improvements:
- View, edit, and share photos stored in Google Drive
- Google Apps domain support: restrict posts to the domain, domain icons to identify members
- Hangouts app replaces Messenger for messaging and video calls. Visit Google Takeout to download your Messenger data.