The Google+ iPhone app for Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) new social network has finally been approved by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). After a suspiciously long delay, the iOS app is now available from the App Store. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers give it a try.
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: The (NY) Times they are a-changin'...
[Public service announcement: click here for a Google+ invitation]
Gregg Keizer reports:
Two weeks ago, a Google employee said that the company had submitted Google+ to the App Store. "The Google+ iPhone app has been submitted...(no not today, sometime prior to today) and is awaiting approval."
...Google's app took twice as long as the vast bulk of submitted apps to win Apple's approval. ...[I]n June 2010, CEO Steve Jobs said, "Ninety-five percent of all the apps we get submitted are approved within seven days." ...[T]he app runs on the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, and requires iOS 3.1 or later.
Dan Moren adds:
...[T]heres currently no support for either the iPad or, bizarrely, the iPod touch. ... Most of the features offer roughly the same functionality as the Google+ site: You can...even browse through updates of people near you (which...is a little handier on the phone). And, of course, you can check into nearby locations. ...
...The highlight of the app, though, is...Huddle...Googles attempt to simplify group text messaging. ... You can send messages to an individual, to multiple users, or even to a whole Circle. ... Huddle even sends...receipts, so you can tell that your recipient has received [or] read your message.
Jacqui Cheng also finds the platform limitations "confusing":
...[I]t straight up won't load on the iPad, nor will it load on the iPod touch. This is a confusing decision, and Google...didn't answer the "why." ... "We are working quickly to roll out the Google+ mobile app to as many platforms and devices as possible,"...[said] Google spokesperson Katie Watson.
......[Y]ou can make new posts easily by tapping the pencil icon in the top right. The app will ask you if you want to...geotag the post. ... From here, you can alter which circles will see your post and also attach images. ... We find this posting interface to be well designed. ... What's fun about the main Stream view is that you can swipe your finger left or right on the screen to see different streams.
But does John Gruber agree? Not so much:
It does not solve my fundamental problem with Google+, which is that it feels like work to use. Googles iOS mobile team has developed their own UI idioms. ...[I]ts not iOS-like. ... I dont like it.
...The Google+ app feels like it was designed by people who dont like the standard iPhone design idioms. And stuff like the button order...is just plain awful.
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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.