A couple of weeks ago, I posted up my Gogole+ impressions based on the very underwhelming Google+ Web App experience. Needless to say, it’s wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences available for Google+ and it actually kept me from really wanting to use it. Well, today the much anticipated native iOS app is finally out so now I get to update my impressions of it based on the new app.
I’m going to jump right out and say that I find the app a bit, meh. I’m seriously underwhelmed by it, much like I was with the web app. I’m comparing what I’m seeing on my iPhone with what Jason posted about the Android app, and they look pretty near identical save for a few UI elements here and there. What that means is that it’s still the same boring Google UI designs with very little flare. I mean there are times when I enjoy minimalistic designs, but this is almost too minimalistic when compared to something like the official Twitter app or even the Facebook app.
One of the main reasons I was waiting on the iOS app was because the web app lacked a few features that I was assuming the native app would have. In actuality, the only feature added to the native app is Huddle. Everything else seems to be just an extension of what I saw in the web app, but a bit more expanded. Again, quite underwhelming. Huddle it seems like works similar to another app we reviewed here, Beluga, except it doesn’t seem as robust. Huddle is as basic as you can get for group chatting. It seems to only do text with no way of including images or even location data. Beluga is leaps and bounds better.
From responses I’ve seen on Twitter so far about the app, there are already little quirks that make no sense about it and I’ve concurred with my testing. For one, there seems to be no way to +tag someone in a post like you can on the desktop version. You can’t even message someone from their user profile. The only way it seems to directly contact someone in Google+ is the Huddle feature which seems a bit unnecessary if all you want to do is shoot them a quick message or tag them in an interesting post. Another quirk that I see many are upset about is the fact that this app only works on the iPhone. It can’t be installed on iPod Touches, even the 4th gen, and it will not install on an iPad! All I have to say to that is why? iPod Touch is basically an iPhone minus the phone function and nothing in the Google+ app makes calls so it makes no sense. As for the iPad, smart move Google. I didn’t want to use the app from there anyways. Can you smell my sarcasm there? How hard would it have been to make this app universal? Not very hard considering most of this app looks like it was pulled from the web app.
As I’m writing this, an update already was posted. Really? I’ve only had the app for an hour or 2 and there’s already an update? That should put aside any rumors that Apple was working against Google on releasing the app. On that note, the update really doesn’t do anything except fix bugs.
To end this post, I’m going to say that so far, nothing Google+ has done is going to get me to stop using either Twitter or Facebook. Even with the iOS app now available, I doubt I would be using it anymore than I already wasn’t. Huddle will not be replacing my use of Beluga, and I still have better conversation on Twitter and Facebook. If you want to check out the Google+ iOS app, you can grab it here.