If you’ve ever used the Google+ app for iPhone in the past, you know that it was a less than stellar experience — basically just a mobile Web app with a skin around it. Fortunately, that version is no more. Google today released an update for Google+ for iPhone, which delivers a far more polished and enjoyable experience.
For starters, posts in your Stream or on user profiles look completely different. Scrolling through your Stream is now much more fluid, with an almost bouncy graphical motion that reminds me of Flipboard (sans the actual flipping, of course). The background is now black (before it was white), which gives even simple text posts much more pop, visually speaking. In fact, Google points out that it has added “crisper fonts” to make everything look that much better.
My only complaint here is that it is slightly difficult to know where one post ends and the next begins — not a big deal, of course, but it would be nice if there were a slightly more obvious visual cue to separate each post in the Stream.
Profile pictures have also been enlarged, and appear in the top-left corner of each post in your Stream. In addition to graphical changes, Google has moved the +1 Button on each post to the top of the user interface — a vast improvement over the previous version.
Navigation has also been completely revamped. Now, instead of the confusing options listed on a bar at the top of the screen, you can choose the Circle you’d like to check out posts from by simply hitting the option in the middle of the navigation bar, which opens a menu of your Circles. You no longer have to check each Circle individually to see it in your Stream; instead, just hit the “All Circles” option.
Android update “coming soon”
If you’re an Android user, don’t worry: Google says that the update for Android is “coming in a few weeks,” and will include “a few extra surprises.” So don’t feel like you’re getting shafted just because iOS users got the goods first.
The Google+ mobile update follows a recent redesign of Google+ on the Web, which rolled out in April. That updated included a variety of new features, including a new Hangouts section, drag-and-drop features, full bleed photos and videos, and updated discussion look and functionality on posts.
The new, improved Google+ for iPhone is available from the iTunes App Store now.