Google+ first impressions

The bottom line first: I wish all my Facebook friends and Twitter followers would (and could) switch over to Google+. Now. It’s good stuff!

I have really only played with the Circles feature. It’s what Facebook should have been all along: you define groups of people, and every time you share something (a status update, a picture, a movie, whatever) you get to choose which “circle of friends” gets to see it. If you want, you can also post publicly. To top it off, you can even notify friends who are not on Google+, by email.

The UI is delightfully clean and crisp. Actually, Google seems to be using similar color schemes, fonts, etc. throughout its properties—Gmail, Calendar, even the Google search page. Very cool.

Interacting with streams (status updates from friends) feels a lot like Buzz. This is a good thing in my book.

The Android Google+ app has one great feature, and one big drawback. The great feature is Instant Upload: if you so wish, every picture you take (from the camera app, not just from the Google+ app) gets uploaded to a private folder on Google+. From there, you can choose which pictures to share, and—of course—whom to share them with.

Unfortunately, my initial experience suggests that the Google+ app drains the battery fairly quickly if you have all notifications turned on. Right now, I am running it with zero notifications on. Frankly, I don’t need to be aware of every single status update, comment, etc.; however, Google+ “huddles” (IM conversations) may be convenient, but it seems like even limiting notifications to huddles increases battery drain. So, for now, no notifications for me. That’s a pity.

I was lucky to get an invite last night, from a colleague who interned at Google. Right now, it appears that invites have been turned off. Too bad, but understandable.

That is all. Any comments?

One response to “Google+ first impressions

  1. Does google+ understand LaTeX?

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