Being one of the ten million people that so far has joined Google+ social network, and an iPhone user, i downloaded the offical Google+ iPhone app this morning, and on first impression i liked it as it pretty much mirrored the web version, but then things started to go sour.
As i started playing around with the app a bit more, it quickly became clear that Google might have been a bit too eager with getting an app for their latest social endeavor onto the App Store, cutting a few too many corners in my opinion. And from reading feedback on other blogs and on Twitter, it looks i’m not the only one left with a few disappointments.
First of all, basic functionality such as being able to update your profile has been left out from the first version of the app. You can view your profile, but you can’t update it from the app itself. Feels like a very rookie mistake from a company like Google, knowing that they are trying to get Google+ into peoples minds as a real alternative to the other social networks out there. I would like to think that this is something that will be corrected in a matter of days, not weeks.
The concept of sharing is the foundation of a social network, but in this case Google has actually made it more complex than is needed. Yes, you can comment on the post of contacts and you can +1, although i have to admit it took me a couple of tries before i realized that you have to tap the post to open up the comment and +1 functionality.
Google+ app does not support checking for contacts against your phonebook, which would have been nice in case you have contacts that are not on Google, or part of any of your friends circles, and therefore suggested people for you to add.
Not sure why, but Google has only provided support for the iPhone 3G, 3GS and iPhone 4, so the app can’t be downloaded to the iPad or iPod Touch at the moment. This seems very odd considering that they all run on the same platform.
Besides the issues listed above, that i’m sure Google will be releasing an update for in the near future, the app is not bad. I like the interface and the clean look of it, just like i’m positive about the concept of what Google+ can become. Some UI improvements, speed it up a bit, and get some of the basic functionality right, and this could be an app that will see a lot of usage.
You can download the Google+ app for free from iTunes App Store here.