Android app gives full access, but it's currently in private beta

Google+Google+

Google's just taken the wraps off Google+ -- its answer to Facebook, more or less. More, actually, we believe, though for all the details and video's Google's just dropped, we don't get much in the way of actual hands-on usage.

In an oversimplified nutshell, Google+ is a series of groups, called Circles; trending topics, called Sparks; group chat (including video), dubbed Hangouts; and mobile, which includes location-based services, instant upload of photos, and Huddle (more group chat).

So Google's gone social, and not a moment too soon, though it's currently in a closed beta.

As far as the Android app is concerned: You've got a "Stream" feature, which basically is like Facebook's wall. Photos is well, photos. Huddle is group messaging. Will it finally be group messaging done right?

So that's that. Check out Google's full explanation of Google+ at the source link below, and check out video of the mobile app after the break. Other than that, not a whole lot else to do until more of us get invited.

Source: Google Blog; More: Google+


Youtube link for mobile viewing
 

Reader comments

Google goes social with Google+

72 Comments

So Google's gone social, and not a moment too soon,

Ah, yes, it is too soon, way too soon.

There is no shortage of social, and no need for another. Just when people are finally realizing how pathetic Facebook is and its member ship is starting to decline google decides to jump in?

Oh, and isn't this like the third of fourth attempt? Wave, Orkut, Gtalk?

One hopes Google google makes this more secure than Facebook. They probably have no choice but to do so with Congress looking over their shoulder, but even Wave had some security and privacy gaffs.

No thanks, Google.

That so called decline represents an opportunity. I'm not sure if Google is well positioned to take advantage of it, but a more secure more trustworthy social media site that scales across the Internet is something I would like to see.

AND AOL would have been correct. The decline in AOL's market share represented an opportunity for all of its competitors. Just as a decline in Facebook's market share represents a potential opportunity for Google. Of course if Google executes like they executed Buzz (and yes that has dual meanings), I expect that it won't make much difference.

Your fairy tale presumes that Facebook is as indispensable as basic internet service.

Yet the facebook decline has been going on at 4% per month for the last couple of months, well ahead of the availability of any high profile competitive service.

That should be your clue that they aren't going elsewhere, they've just outgrown Facebook.

They aren't going anywhere else because at present time there is nowhere else to go. Its not like those leaving facebook really have another option for a social network platform, other than myspace which I'm sure they left initially to go to Facebook. I think this could be a good move, not only for Google as a company but for the public as a new social place to be part of while online.

That so called decline represents an opportunity. I'm not sure if Google is well positioned to take advantage of it, but a more secure more trustworthy social media site that scales across the Internet is something I would like to see.

True. Also, considering my never-ending hate for Facebook, I'd like to have this more trustworthy social network that wasn't designed by a thief. Google has a much better reputation than Mark's.

It's in decline if the USA and Canada but is increasing membership in other countries. FACEBOOK isn't going anywhere anytime soon. ;-D

icebike, either you have no idea what you're on about, or you really hate Google and therefore have a bias opinion:

Google Talk is an instant messaging client, not a social networking service, and is still widely used today including on most Android-powered smartphones... As for Google Wave, well no one is really sure what Google Wave was, but it wasn't a social network, nor was it ever intended to be.

Orkut was actually quite successful to begin with, but was overtaken by Facebook and gradually lost its share of western users- much to the surprise of Google however, Orkut gained quite a following in India and Brazil, where it remains popular to this day!

So in essence, the only REAL complaint you have is with regards to Google Buzz... Despite what you seem to suggest, Google Buzz was INCREDIBLY popular at launch, but was plagued by severe privacy concerns, which played a key part in its demise- Google Buzz is actually still around, but its not quite the roaring success Google hoped it would be, largely due to its tarnished image as a direct result of the severe privacy issues Google Buzz briefly experienced.

Downloaded the app, and for some reason it only recognizes one of the two Gmail accounts I have synced to my phone - of course it's the one I don't use often.

It only recognized one of the 4 accounts I had on it and I had to delete 3 of them to get to the one that I use most often. After all that work, the App told me it was in closed beta. :(

No it doesn't. It recognized my secondary account and not the main account that the phone and everything else uses to log into all things.

I wouldn't say "Photos is well, photos". They automatically sync to the cloud, making them easy to share from any device. Isn't that essentially what Apple's iCloud does? Sounds pretty slick!

I tried to request an invite as well and it seems they are overloaded so if anyone at AC would get us some it would be quiet grand, lol

I got my invite from a friend and from what I understand, they're asking employees for their friend's/family's emails and sending the beta out to a few from those lists.
Since the project is a social platform, it would only make sense to open the beta to people who will actually be able to add each other [while its still in beta].
i.e. they ask an employee to get a list of friends, send the beta to those friends; they then all add each other and are able to experience the beta at its full potential.

Love that Google is taking its time, building demand first. Not only does this give it time for the buzz to build up in the InternetWebsBlogospheres, it should give them time to smooth out the experience and optimize to the best practices as time goes on.

It will also make Android a better overall choice should it catch on.

Facebook is now a second class citizen on iPhone. Google Plus is sure to be a better experience on Android given the tight Google Services integration. Twitter/Apple just doesn't have the same appeal.

Win for Google. Win for Android.

Can't wait for my invite.

So this would explain why Google has removed Facebook Integration on the Nexus S and later devices. Makes perfect sense now. Plus, this looks way better than Facebook in the first place. I will drop Facebook for this if enough of my friends switch over. Can't wait.

Unfortunately, no. Google dropped FB contacts sync because FB did not follow the rules of the API - pure and simple. Google told FB "I don't care big you are, if we bend the rules for you, we'd have to bend them for everybody. Play along, or get lost." This product had nothing to do with it.

Google removed FB integration because FB doesn't allow users to "own" their contact info. You can sync your contacts, use the info but you can't edit it. This is why Google stopped the integration.

No. I can't agree with that.

Social networks should be on as many platforms as possible. Google should make Android's first of course, but it should follow quickly with iPhone and Win 7 phone versions. Heck, it should even build a Blackberry one.

But it should work splendidly on the Android in ways that the iPhone and others simply can't match because of the close Android/Google services integration.

It should link effortlessly to Google Maps, Docs, Mail, Picasa, Music, Places, Voice, Sky Map, YouTube, Search, Buzz (if not subsumed by Stream), Latitude and all the rest.

In this way, it sells both Android and Plus and steals away some of iPhone's cloud thunder as well.

People may be missing the whole point here.

It's not a Facebook killer. Done right, it's an iCloud killer. because iCloud, as a one platform network, is the antisocial network. Google+ running on everything would make that painfully obvious.

so i downloaded the app and now have google+ AND huddle+ installed, both direct me to sign in with gmail and say i need an invite. what is huddle+

Since I use Google for everything it seems, this would be great for me. Plus, it just seems more personal than facebook. Facebook is very general. All of your friends see everything you post. I don't really wanna see everything you do. If they don't allow frontierville or any zynga shit on Google+, I will be very happy.

I'm all for keeping zynga crapware out of the picture.

But I wonder if Google+ will eventually add in an API like Facebook did?

Google's shiny new toy. I predict that, like so many Google apps, this will never actually leave Beta. Even widely used apps are often still in beta, giving them the opportunity to say, "Oh, yah, we'll fix that; this is, after all, just beta."

Cyanogen 7 is your friend. Complete with "move ANY app to SD" goodness.

Go Cyanogen and you'll never go back to stock.

Google, don't announce something until it's actually available for a large population. These private betas kill the buzz that was created by these announcements, and a large portion of people will not know to come back when it's available. Lame-sauce.

Why does everything have to have "buzz"? Why can't they just release a product to have a lucky few testers then release it to everyone when it's ready? If you like that kind of marketing then stick with Apple products.

If this is done right I would love it. As a user of all things Google, I think it will provide all the usefulness of FB but with Google's panache and skill. Can't wait for the invite.

I got my invite this morning! Its such an awesome social platform and the circles feature is genius! The android app makes photo uploads actually possible rather than uploading to FB mobile and waiting for hours and it never happening.
I just hope they send out some more updates soon so that I can actually start adding my friends.

Is this going to work with Google Apps accounts, or is this going to be yet another Google feature (like Latitude check-ins, +1, Profile) that won't work if your Google account is a hosted domain?

When Google launched Google Buzz, Google Apps users were told that support was coming "soon", yet nearly two years later, there is still no sign of the availability of Google Buzz for Google Apps users!

I have three domains powered by Google Apps and like myself, many of my users are getting real sick of missing out on Google Buzz, so hopefully Google Plus won't be a repeat scenario and Google will actually allow its Google Apps users to utilize this potentially powerful service in the near future... I'm not going to hold my breath though.

By the way, Google Latitude works with Google Apps- I was playing around with it just yesterday!

I'll keep an eye on this and see where it goes. If my friends use it and/or switch, I will too. I'm all for not drowning in feeds from EVERYONE. That is my chief complaint with both Myspace and FB.

All I can say is I hope Google takes their time and looks at Facebook and does something completely different this app has the possibility of knocking social networking out of the park. I would trust Google with my info rather than Facebook so many problems with FB. YOU GUYS ROCK

FB is waayyy too open can't wait to start using G+ (if I can call it that :) looks so much better than FB or twitter, please invite me! Can't wait to try it out, should be awesome for video chat on the galaxy tab :)

I need an invite its like getting into willy wonka's factory and I NEED A FREGGIN GOLDEN TICKET!!!!!!