Official Google+ client comes to iOS

Google has delivered with an official native Google+ client for Apple's mobile platform

When Google+ launched late last month, Google released an Android app for the service and promised that an iOS app would join it soon; on Tuesday, Google delivered with an official native client for Apple's mobile platform.

At least, for some of Apple's mobile platform. While the Google+ iOS app is designed for iPhones iOS 4.0 or later, there's currently no support for either the iPad or, bizarrely, the iPod touch.

Upon launching Google+ for the first time, you'll be prompted to log in to your account, after which you have access to your Stream, Photos, your Profile, and your Circles, along with a new mobile-specific feature called Huddle. One feature that's not present is Google's Hangout video chat, but given that it relies on a Flash plugin, that's not exactly a surprise.

Most of the features offer roughly the same functionality as the Google+ site: You can scroll through your stream, comment and +1 your friends' posts, and even browse through updates of people near you (which you can also do via the website, but is a little handier on the phone). And, of course, you can check into nearby locations and write your own posts, complete with pictures snapped from your camera and geolocation tags.

The highlight of the app, though, is a new Google+ feature previously available only on Android phones: Huddle. Huddle is Google's attempt to simplify group text messaging; it's similar, in some ways, to Apple's forthcoming iMessage service or RIM's BlackBerry Messenger service, though it has the advantage of now being cross-platform. You can send messages to an individual, to multiple users, or even to a whole Circle. Users who don't have a smartphone client will get an e-mail that prompts them to download one. Huddle even sends delivery and read receipts, so you can tell that your recipient has received and read your message.

Once you've initiated a Huddle you can change the name, so it's easy to see keep multiple Huddles distinct, or mute it so you don't get notifications of new messages; that's good, since there doesn't seem to be anything to prevent you from being messaged by nearly anybody on Google+. (At least new Huddles created with you appear to be muted by default.) And, of course, you can always leave a Huddle if you don't want to be included any more.

Google's UI could use some polish, and there are a handful of usability issues--for example, when adding people to a Huddle, you have to wade through all the people who follow you as well as Google+'s integration with your iOS address book. The rest of the features are spartan, but functional, as with many of Google's other iOS apps.

In one strange development, an update to the Google+ app was released shortly after the app itself debuted. The new version added better support for blocking unwanted messages in Huddle, better support for attaching photos to a post, as well as bug fixes and performance improvements. However, at least two Macworld staffers noted problems logging into the service with the update that required force-quitting and relaunching the app, suggesting that Google's traditional "beta" label may apply here as well.

Whether Google+ will catch on in a world with Facebook and Twitter remains an open question, but with clients on the two hottest smartphone platforms around, Google's certainly trying to cover all the bases.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileinternetGooglewirelessAppleNetworkingsocial networkingsoftwareInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Moren

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Taking cybersecurity to the highest level and order now for a special discount on the world’s most awarded and trusted cybersecurity. Be aware without a care!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?