Google updated its Google+ app yesterday to highlight the company’s app, regardless of their popularity.
Apps can be accessed via a menu on the left-hand side that slides to the right, removing the persistent icons for services that were maybe never used.
Google Plus sees a major update across mobile apps and Google hides services most users probably don’t use
Users will see the changes when visiting Google.com in the browser. Tabs move Google’s services to the drawer where it will show services like a user’s Google+ account, Google Search, and YouTube. Instead of the tabs are links to text and image search, alongside a notification drop-down menu for notifications.
Putting the focus on its social network seems like a sensible move for Google, and users probably don’t want services constantly displayed that aren’t used. Though whether users will switch from Facebook to Google+ is a different question.
Google also released version 3.2 of the Google+ apps for iOS and Android. The big change is the introduction of the ability for users to manage pages, make comments, and post from a mobile device. For Android a Find People tool, for searching for users, is available along with a new widget. The iPhone 5’s four-inch display is also supported, so no black bars for owners of the device.
Slashgear is reporting users are required to log out and back in to manage pages for no clear reason. Google did not comment on the issue.
The update coincides with the ability to use Google Maps from the browser, particularly relevant for iOS 6 users. Apple’s platform is seeing problems with Maps, the replacement, that seem to be staying for the long term. Claims are the software spent five years in development, though cobbling different service providers together under one service isn’t a recipe for automatic success.
Google Maps debuted in 2005, seven years ago. Perhaps its flagship feature, StreetView, debuted two years later in 2007. Spending two years on developing Flyover, Apple’s alternative to StreetView, may not be tolerated by users. Unless Google releases a Google Maps app, of course. The problem for Apple is not providing accurate performance for bigger cities but rural areas, an area where StreetView excels.
Google Plus is available now via iTunes/iOS’ App Store.