Thanks to a generous reader, we've found ourselves taking a couple of laps through the Pool Party, the photo sharing application developed within Google by its "Slide" team. Whether Pool Party's an active part of the new Google+ social network on Google or just an internal project whose innards will be (or have been) adopted by services such as Google+ remains to be seen.
So what is Pool Party? Plain and simple, it's photo sharing. You log in, create "Pools," and share photos. You can invite individual users to a Pool, and in the process grant them access to view, comment on, save, share and "like" photos within that pool. You can have multiple pools (no idea if there's a maximum), with different people in each pool.
And that's about it. Photo sharing, plain and simple.
The app itself -- which is still in private beta as of this writing -- is simple, straightforward, and plenty fast. It's pretty spartan, with little in the way of user interface or settings. You can change your first and last name, profile photo, gender, and whether you want to receive live updates.
As for the Pools themselves, you can change the Pool name; view, add and remove members; receive e-mail updates on pool activity (including each time a photo or comment is posted); and whether or not to receive push notifications.
There's also a web component (at poolpartyapp.com), which is pretty much the same thing, just in browser.
So will we see a Pool Party in Google+? Or will the services be folded in? That remains to be seen. But let's certainly hope so, as the Pool Party app (there's also one available for iOS, which our pals at TiPb have given the what-for) is clean, easy photo sharing, and that's a must-have for a social network looking to break the Facebook hold on the world.
We've got a plethora of screen shots after the break.
More coverage: TechCrunch