Google+ Android app review - can Google compete with Facebook?
The constant changing of Facebook is pissing me off. And a lot of
others as well, from what I gather.
It seems that more frequently that anyone would want, you have to
almost relearn how Facebook works, only to discover that it no
longer does what you always used it to do, or you have to spend a
lot of time finding out how to do it.
I was so fed up, I finally sucuumbed to giving Google+ a try. I
can't abandon FB (http://facebook.com/garythison),
but if Google+ is better, or at least good, I'm happy to promote it,
even if it means that I have find more time to update even more
social media crap. Or not.
Google+ is Google's answer to Facebook. And, at first glance it's
pretty cool social networking program. Once you sign up (either a
new account or log in with an existing Google account) you are
through just a couple of options. There really isn't a lot to do if
you already have a Google/Gmail account.
First stop: Circles
After signing up with Google+, you see a screen that shows all of
your contacts who have already joined. Now you have an opportunity
to add them to Circles. Circles are groups of friends,
acquaintances, family, business associates, etc. You click on the
contact and add them to whichever circle they fit in (or more than
one). Then, when you want to send a message you can target it only
to the group you want. Very cool. I'm sure this feature will be
included in an upcoming, annoying upgrade to Facebook. The problem
is, who wants to go backward through all of your FB friends and add
them to a specific "circle." If Google+ takes off, you can just add
them as you go.
Once set up, your account automatically creates photo albums with
any other Google accounts you may have set up under that Google
account. So, in my case, it created individual photo albums of
images attached to a couple of my blogs. You can also add photos
either online or on the fly with your Android device.
I'm not sure, but I think Google may manipulate the Google+ ratings
data in the Android Market. The overall rating gave it over four
stars, but when I was reading the comments it seems that most of
them are negative.
I need to explore more, but it seems like a pretty simple app
allowing you to see your profile, photos, news feed, etc. Not all
that unlike FB. One of the features I tried, and I think I like, is
setting the Google+ app on your Android device to automatically
upload every photo you take on your phone to your Google+ account.
Don't worry, everyone can't see every pic you take. They are
initially stored in a private folder until you decide to release and
share them. I like that because you always have a backup of your
photos without doing anything.
All in all, it looks like a nice alternative to Facebook. But, at
this time I think only one person is seeing my messages. Can Google
compete in this arena? Stay tuned.