After a little more than two weeks of waiting, the Google+ app for the iPhone is out. My initial excitement as I began to download it was quickly soured when, upon opening the app, it immediately crashed. I tried it again, and it crashed again. Grrr.
There are clearly some downsides to running the beta version of Apple’s forthcoming iOS 5 software! Google have since gone public in stating definitively that it doesn’t work on iOS 5. I understand that Google is not required to provide support for a non-realeased OS, but it would have been nice if it was at least somewhat usable.
I have since downloaded and briefly used the app on my wife’s iPhone 3GS. It works nicely enough but it also leaves a lot to be desired.
It is definitely lacking the polish and Apple-like finesse of the best iOS apps out there. Using Tweetbot for example is a delight. It is beautiful, sleek, fast, and very easy to use. It feels like an app that values the Apple design ethos and has bought into it.
But, as John Gruber said in his post on the app, ‘the Google+ app feels like it was designed by people who don’t like the standard iPhone design idioms’.
There are also a number of key features that are missing. It isn’t possible to share posts via the app. And neither is it possible to +1 comments on posts - only the post itself.
Hopefully Google will iterate and bring improvements to the app very quickly. If Google+ is going to seriously take off, it cannot afford to be average in the mobile arena. And right now, the Google+ mobile experience is distinctly average.
If you don’t yet have Google+, contact me with your email address and I’ll send you an invitation.