Google has gotten around to updating the Google+ Android app, the iPhone version was updated first, a couple of weeks ago. But Google said to hang tight, the Android version is coming and it's going to be even better.
The most obvious update is the redesign, the app looks a lot better and it puts a much greater emphasis on photos. Images from posts or from albums are displayed across the screen with not a pixel wasted.
It makes for a pleasant feel, but it's also a smart design choice for small screens where photos are more telling than text.
The app is faster too, it's very snappy and moving from one panel to the other is seamless. Everything that was there is still available, all the main Google+ sections are accessible via the side menu.
This side menu, or ribbon as Google calls it, slides out when you need it but is tucked away most of the time. That's a common app design element these days though, it's no Google innovation.
But there's more to it than the redesign, there are a couple of new things as well, some highly requested features Google argues.
"The update includes lots of highly-requested features—like the ability to start a hangout on the go, and to edit posts inline—as well as a stream that celebrates the rich content shared across Google+. In all cases we're building for a mobile future, and we're excited about what's ahead," Google's Vic Gundotra wrote
One of the things Google is touting is the ability to start a hangout from your phone or tablet. Previously, this was only possible from the website and you could join hangouts from your device.
Other minor new features are the ability to download photos directly from Google+ as well as the ability to edit posts inline.
The app itself is a great update, but we knew that already from the iPhone app. Despite the fact that the Android version has more features, the iPhone app was the biggest update as iOS users treated as second-class users at best. But with the iPhone version coming first
, perhaps that's no longer the case.
It's well and good that Google wants a great app on Android, to help its mobile operating system, but ignoring a huge market like iPhone users does not bode well for Google+. Thankfully, Google is now rectifying its mistake.