Kevin Boey's Blog
Kevin Boey male Writer
Loves cameras, gadgets, geek toys and cars. Still writes proper sentences in SMSes, hates to ride at the back of buses.
Having experienced Google+ for a couple of weeks now, it rather felt like the service has been with us for several months instead of being new to the social networking game. Offering an eclectic blend of features that are available on other social networking sites, the boffins at Google have actually improved upon them to bring a sleeker, easier way to access all its features, without being overwhelmed with notifications and requests. Here's a short, quick list of what's nice and what's not about Google+.
What I Like
- More control on how we want to share it, to whom we want to share it – Unlike Twitter and other services, where your updates are either public or not, Google+ allows you to share it with everyone or selected circles, or even with selected people. Create direct or group messages by tagging the intended recipients while sharing your message, unlike the two or more windows that you'll need to load on other comparable sites.
- Image instant upload from Android devices – Depending on whether you have an unlimited data account or a decent camera on your Android phone or tablet, this is a boon for users who want to instantly share videos or images.
- +1's – I use it as a bookmarker of sorts, instead of the original intent to tell people visiting your profile the cool things you've found. Otherwise, it remains a quick and easy way to sync your favorite sites across an infinite amount of computers, just no personal ones as this is made public.
- Circles, and to a lesser extent, Incoming (posts) – I've been putting off arranging my Tweeps in lists and Facebook friends in groups, but since you can effectively use groups for what they are in Google+, Circles is an integral part of the site. Incoming is also pretty cool in the sense that I can effectively mute people who have me in their circles but without the opposite being true. This way, my Stream stays focused on the people whom I know and add into my circles.
- Huddle is like Viber, Skype and other teleconferencing feature built into Google+. It's great only when all your contacts are actively using the service and/or has an Android device for device-to-device communication though.
What I Don't Like
- Google+ is severely lacking in options for now. It would be nice to mute a certain circle from posting to my Stream or having to mute someone without blocking them entirely ala Facebook. However, we are still seeing improvements being rolled out on a daily basis, so this might still be in the pipeline.
- The mobile application does not allow users to edit posts that were previously posted as of version 1.0.2, and both Android and iOS apps are not natively available for international users of the service.
- While the photo service is good and we loved how it could automatically detect faces for instant tagging, we are unable to create albums from Instant Upload images via the Google+ portal. Traffic is redirected to Picasa instead, and that makes the experience slightly jarring. It would be great if a Picasa applet is built into the Photos menu instead of forcing users to hunt high and low for a link to their Picasa Web Albums.
- Google+ is definitely the future of social networking, combining the best features from sites such as Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn, Tumblr and other social networking sites. Despite such capabilities and the sharp increase of users it took upon when Google relaxed its invitation rules, the tipping point has not been reached, although I hope that it wouldn't be another Buzz.