Home

Share this Story

Google+ and Its Shiny New UI Arrives on Android, Starting Hangouts Also Made Incredible Easy

  

Two things immediately come to mind when I look at this shiny new Google+:  big ass images and incredibly easy Hangout starting. That’s right, folks, the new Google+ update that was released to iOS a couple of weeks ago has finally arrived on Android. And damn does it look nice.

The first thing you’ll notice is the revamped Stream which includes, again, big ol’ pictures. But more importantly, for navigation, you get a ribbon on the left side that features quick shortcuts to anything that you feel like accomplishing in G+ – Hangouts would be the new option to the party. Starting a video chat with multiple friends has never been this easy, has it?  The Google+ team also tossed in some fun transitions as you scroll through your feeds, the ability to download pics as wallpapers, a chance to edit posts inline, and more. Go get it.

Play Link

Cheers Adam, Lewissd, Tio and Jeff!

  • amugofjava

    I would love to try the new start Hangout from app feature – but every time I select the Hangout option, or try and join one – the app immediately force closes.

  • tonysam1

    It is utterly amazing. Kills FB.

  • http://www.twitter.com/nblufire12 Nathan Patel

    how come its blue? mines red

  • Stewie

    Totally Kewl …. Was worth the wait for it was it not? :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Emaw-Kennedy/504157652 Michael Emaw Kennedy

    If only people would switch over! Google just needs ot figure a way to easily convert their followers and show them why it’s better

  • Rob Becker

    Starting a hangout now is as easy or easier than a facetime on iOS. Oh and it’s cross platform. Now if only G+, G+ Messenger, Google Talk, and Google Voice we are unified.

    • http://soundcloud.com/seraphiansounds Jordan Dietrich

      I like that it “Rings” the users you invite to the hangout now, so it really is nothing but a video call with all the added benefits of a hangout. I’ll have to play with it sometime to see how it works. oh yeah, and it works on 4G. Take THAT apple C:

  • joe

    when ever they do release it. i’m betting it will be the last one this nexus ever gets

  • Charles

    This is like painting the inside of a condemned house.

  • Scott

    Not liking so far. I’ll give it a chance to grow on me though.

  • edmicman

    So what were the “extra surprises” in the Android one that wasn’t in the iOS version?

    I also wish the Messenger app was more integrated into Android and that there was a desktop counterpart.

    I wish the stock text message app would become Messenger, and if you were texting another user with Google+ then it would go through Messenger, a la messaging on iOS. BAM! Google, you just have a cross platform competitor to the iOS only messaging on iPhone that automatically works for every Android phone. And on the desktop I could kill GTalk and have reasonable multi-person chats. Sigh…

    • edmicman

      Can you add shared circles from the app yet? Does the autocorrect works right? Can you jump to a specific circle from the stream without having to swipe back and forth across all of them you decided to show? Can you move images into specific albums?

      • edmicman

        And another – can you share a post or image to another service (using the standard Android share context menu) or still only to G+?

        • http://soundcloud.com/seraphiansounds Jordan Dietrich

          Still only G+ :(

          All I want is for the “Share via link” option to appear on any post that I try to share from the stream. As it is, it’s a pain in the ass to try to share photo albums from G+ across the web, and I don’t know that you can easily share other things.

  • http://www.youtube.com/kimirPORTALS kimir

    incredibly easy*
    Too many people won’t switch to google+, otherwise I would be more interested.

  • http://www.facebook.com/coreyvallejo Corey Vallejo

    The only problem I have with this update is it appears to turn on Instant Upload by default. :/

    • Stewie

      Didnt do that for me, was off, stayed off …

  • Medications

    There is no need for two social networks that serve the same purpose, and for the most part Facebook and G+ do not serve the same purpose. If that is what Google is trying to do then G+ is doomed, it’s not a Facebook killer. G+ is not better than Facebook for 90% of people. G+ is good for techies and business types who can utilize the hangouts/video conferencing aspect which is cool for them, but no one i know does that sort of thing or cares to. That’s just how it is, i like Google and android but im not a loyalist fanboy, and neither are 90% of all the other 18-28 year olds. Facebook better suits the needs and habits of the majority of people. No one cares if it’s more hip to use G+ just because it is the new underdog. If it suits your needs better then fine but it really doesn’t go beyond that. One is not going to the take over the other and run it out of existence.

    • Spoken Word™

      By that logic there’s no need for more than 1 car company either. It’s called “choice”.

  • EvanTheGamer

    What about the announced live streaming feature? Haven’t heard anything about it since the last time you guys made a post about it.

  • TimXer

    Just curious, why would Google release to iOS before Android?

    • http://profiles.google.com/jtsurf18 Jason Downing

      First thing that comes to mind isss.. does it matter? Secondly, apparently there were more features that were packed into the Android version. What features are those? I don’t know, but it didn’t take too much longer.

    • Stewie

      Likely was easier to code, plain and simple, but also there were likely two teams, one for each OS, and they may have finsihed first. Does it matter? Nope … but perhaps they figured the new look could draw those off FB on iOS … it is a better looking app ….

  • http://www.getintonursing.com/ Jon

    awesome update. boring to visit facebook now.

  • Tweekex

    Wish I could get people to join G+, it is the best social network :

    • http://www.getintonursing.com/ Jon

      If they had an app like this from the getgo it would have gone a long way. They didn’t even have an app at the start. I’m glad Google keeps trying and they are having success outside of the US.

  • Tristan Cunha

    This has got to be the best looking app on my phone now. It’s a little more data intensive (both for the network and phone), but it seems well worth it. I just spent 5 minutes scrolling around to enjoy all the visuals.

  • http://twitter.com/anhstein Anhstein

    Gah, I guess it’s just me who doesn’t dig white text over pictures.. Why ruin both the picture and the readability of the text while you can just, you know, separate them?

    Pictures look less nice in horizontal mode too. Not a big deal, I don’t really use my phone in horizontal mode, unless it’s sitting on the dock.

    The left side ribbon is definitely nice though.

  • Richard Hayden

    I have a Bionic and to me this new UI is horrible. Everything appears to be crammed onto the screen as if senior citizens where the only ones viewing it. And why are the photo album previews still so flat and wide? And the aspect ratio of some of the photos in my stream is way off. Why do the photos have to be zoomed in on the stream? I don’t want to have to click on every post just to see the full image. I love Google and I really want to get into G+ more but this is not the way to do it.

    • Michael G

      The only thing I dislike about the UI are the photos. “Smooshed” is the best word I can think to use. (If that’s even a real word. lol)
      The resolution is off and some of the photos look like they’re in “fisheye” mode until you click on them. I’m sure this will be fixed down the road.
      I’ll get used to the in-line comments over the photos I guess.

  • NT

    tested the mobile hangout on the droid charge. video and incoming audio work just fine, but the person on the other end can’t hear me. the exact same problem with video chat on google talk. but skype audio/video works just fine on it. of course samsung won’t address it though.

  • Brent Stewart

    I’m really having trouble understanding why there’s so much love for this update. My stream is now is visually cluttered mess that’s hard on the eyes. Polish?! What are they smoking over there because it’s gotta be something awesome. There’s no thought at all for accessibility. Text over images is not only bad design practice but it’s incredibly difficult on the eyes. I’m really starting to think Google fans are becoming just as bad as Apple fans. We bitched and moaned about MySpace pages when users would drop bright or busy pictures as the background to their profiles. But because Google is doing it it’s suddenly “slick”, “polished”, “brilliant”, and “cool” even when it’s obviously incredibly fugly?! I immediately uninstalled my G+ app after this fiasco. And if this crap comes to the web UI not only am I going back to CrapBook but I’m ditching my Android phone.

    • http://profiles.google.com/gogatsbj Bradley Gogats

      Bye

  • Fun With Drugs

    I’m sure the 7 people that are on Google+ will enjoy this update!!
    Good job, Google. :)

    • http://profiles.google.com/gogatsbj Bradley Gogats

      you mean the 100 of millions of G+ users right? Have you ever used it? Combined with Android it really is an amazing social network. The capabilities put FB to shame, especially for G+’s early age

      • Fun With Drugs

        Registered people =/= users.
        I have used it. It sucks. It’s the underdog. The ‘Myspace’ of social networks now.
        Google+ is a flop and should be burned. They’re trying to make it look better so more people will use it. lolz

        • http://profiles.google.com/gogatsbj Bradley Gogats

          That is what everyone said about Android 3 years ago.

          • Fun With Drugs

            Irrelevant.

          • Fun With Drugs

            Irrelevant.

          • Fun With Drugs

            Irrelevant.

          • Fun With Drugs

            Irrelevant.

        • OreoMan

          Mark Zuckerberg…..is that you? :P

  • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

    Love the ribbon on the left, wish they would have made that an ICS UX convention that every app should be using. However, the steam is now very hard to follow. Pictures and hard to read text everywhere. It’s very hard on the eyes and confusing.

  • tu3218

    damn, this looks absolutely gorgeous. I wish google could make a way to get people over from facebook in a simple manner. That truely is the ONLY reason people haven’t switched. They should tell people that since you log in through google, it can bypass school, work related restrictions.

  • kfath1978

    WOW! SICK!

  • LiterofCola

    Pretty cool UI, I’m diggin’ it. Just wish there was an option to disable view of all of the commentless check-ins clogging up the “Nearby” section.

    • http://soundcloud.com/seraphiansounds Jordan Dietrich

      You can remove the “Nearby” section from your feed entirely, but I agree that it would be nice to be able to filter a little more.

      • LiterofCola

        Yeah I noticed that recently. Don’t get me wrong, I do like seeing what potentially interesting stuff is going on around me, which is why I do want to check out the “Nearby” tab. And I do like using G+ so far. I was referring more to the user aspect of people constantly checking-in to random places. I understand and encourage people checking out a new place and drop a comment in their check in, recommending a dish or whatever, those are the posts that I look for in the sea of random strangers just checking-in to “home” or “work” without so much as a comment.

        • http://soundcloud.com/seraphiansounds Jordan Dietrich

          And those posts are the purpose of the check-in. No one cares that some random person just checked in at “Home”, but I WOULD care if someone posted about a place nearby that serves a good pulled pork sandwich.

    • drathos

      You can go to Menu -> Choose Circles and uncheck “Nearby” and it won’t be there anymore.

  • Michael G

    Well I WAS enjoying exploring the new UI until my Nexus dropped signal. Now if only VZW would give me my 4.0.4…

    • DroidzFX

      Download the file that was released by Google and untwist your panties.

      • Michael G

        lol I’m thinking about it but I don’t really want to spend all that time putting my phone “back together”. I have everything set up the way I want. It’s more a matter of laziness and principle. I should have just unlocked the bootloader when I first got it. Lesson learned.

        • mikesuds

          This is not really valid… backup your junk.

          • http://profiles.google.com/gogatsbj Bradley Gogats
          • Michael G

            Think he was directing that towards my statement.

          • Michael G

            lol “Junk”
            Ok well before I disagree with your statement see if you can answer me this.
            My OG Droid was rooted and I flashed plenty’o’ROMs but I haven’t done anything with my Nexus. (I should have in hindsight, yes.)
            “>Settings>Backup & Reset” When I do that will that also backup app/widget data, browser preferences, folder placements and so forth…? When I unlock the bootloader and wipe the phone, will it restore to above mentioned? If so, no problem, I’ll do it. If not, I don’t feel like starting all over. Yes, updating myself makes sense. That being said, if this were Jan or Feb I have no complaint. But it’s almost friggin’ June and VZW refuses to release the OTA. I shouldn’t have to be having this conversation.

          • Michael G

            Sorry for the TRIPLE post. Network was running slow.

          • Droidzilla

            Why buy a GNex if you’re not going to ROM? That’s the biggest thing it has going for it. I used to ROM like a mofo (apparently mofos ROM a lot), but since I don’t really do that any more I got a RAZR over a GNex.

          • Michael G

            Why not? I think it’s a great phone as is. I’ll do the same I did with my OG Droid… Once I get bored enough to care, I’ll root and start flashing. Right now, I’m content with it. I have a Nook that’s rooted and I get my ROM fix that way. lol

          • Droidzilla

            I guess I saw that as the only real benefit of the GNex over the RAZR, but I could see liking the phone in stock form in its own right. Choice = good

          • Michael G

            It really was hard to choose because I loved my Droid so much I wanted to be loyal to Moto. However, the locked bootloader was a minus. What really made me choose the Nexus was the camera. The Droid’s camera was so frustratingly slow so I was worried about how the Razr’s would perform. I tested it in the store and it was fine but I think by then I had already made up my mind.

          • Droidzilla

            I really love my RAZR (so much so that I got my wife one); it’s the first Android device where everything works as it ought to straight out of the box. Smooth, fast, no lag, etc. I went back and forth between it and the GNex for a bit, and decided that the only thing I liked definitively better on the GNex was the OS, and the RAZR will get ICS in time (more time than I’d like, but I knew that going into it). The screen is nicer on the GNex, but not enough so that I’d notice in regular usage. I also prefer dedicated buttons, but that’s also something I would cease to notice in daily usage. The camera on the RAZR was pretty darned fast at first, and has only improved with updates.

            I’m happy with my choice, but I still sometimes think I should have gone with the GNex (other times I’m really glad I didn’t). I guess that’s how you know they’re both good phones.

          • Michael G

            Shoot, my wife still has an old Envy III phone. She refuses to get a smartphone. lol
            Yeah I do miss the Droid brand. Now if only Verizon would stop being evil.

          • Michael G

            lol “Junk”
            Ok well before I disagree with your statement see if you can answer me this.
            My OG Droid was rooted and I flashed plenty’o’ROMs but I haven’t done anything with my Nexus. (I should have in hindsight, yes.)
            “>Settings>Backup & Reset” When I do that will that also backup app/widget data, browser preferences, folder placements and so forth…? When I unlock the bootloader and wipe the phone, will it restore to above mentioned? If so, no problem, I’ll do it. If not, I don’t feel like starting all over. Yes, updating myself makes sense. That being said, if this were Jan or Feb I have no complaint. But it’s almost friggin’ June and VZW refuses to release the OTA. I shouldn’t have to be having this conversation.

          • Michael G

            lol “Junk”
            Ok well before I disagree with your statement see if you can answer me this.
            My OG Droid was rooted and I flashed plenty’o’ROMs but I haven’t done anything with my Nexus. (I should have in hindsight, yes.)
            “>Settings>Backup & Reset” When I do that will that also backup app/widget data, browser preferences, folder placements and so forth…? When I unlock the bootloader and wipe the phone, will it restore to above mentioned? If so, no problem, I’ll do it. If not, I don’t feel like starting all over. Yes, updating myself makes sense. That being said, if this were Jan or Feb I have no complaint. But it’s almost friggin’ June and VZW refuses to release the OTA. I shouldn’t have to be having this conversation.

          • CORYK333

            YOU BACK YOUR JUNK UP!!!

        • http://profiles.google.com/gogatsbj Bradley Gogats

          you dont have to do anything crazy if you are stock, it will flash in stock recovery

        • Richard Jackson

          I’m in the same boat +Michael G.

          • Michael G

            Well Suds got me thinking and I’ve been diggin’ deeper into the whole “Backup>Reset” option in the phone’s settings. I think MOST of the preferential settings (ie browser bookmarks/data, passwords, etc etc” will be restored. My folders aren’t too much of a big deal if they don’t backup. I may give it a shot tonight.

          • Sobr0801

            I am in the same boat except with my Rezound.

      • Jwhap

        +1!

    • Larizard

      So 4.0.4 does fix the 4G signal drop, right?

      Finally got my Nexus 3 days ago, and right off the bat, I am getting the signal drop problem. I relocked the bootloader and tried to return it (Best Buy) yesterday, but they just did a factory reset, and telling me to watch it closely for another 2 days, then they can exchange it..

      So now I have a locked, unrooted, stock ROM Nexus.. Should I try exchanging it? or should I just wait for 4.0.4 to roll out? based on the leaked radios, how much of an improvement is it??

      Oh, and I’m guessing less 4g drop = better battery life?

      I miss my OG Droid already. :/

      • Michael G

        It’s supposed to and from others I talked to, it does. Since you just got your phone go ahead and unlock the bootloader and/or root it NOW. I got it the day it came out and I have so many downloads straight to the phone I don’t want everything wiped. It’s easy to have everything copied but I don’t really feel like sitting down for an hour, getting the driver, getting the file, unlocking and then putting everything back on. I shouldn’t have to do that. Verizon needs to get up off their A and give us the OTA. I loved my OG Droid. Was running Project Elite on it and it was great. But this Nexus is outstanding. Once the signal issue is fixed, I won’t have a complaint. It doesn’t really do it too often for me though. It only seems to do it when I need signal most. lol

  • possomcrast1

    This is fricken amazing definitely destroys the Facebook app. Now for my friends to join the 1000000x better social network.

    • cizzlen

      “laughing_idiot”

      Nothing to see here

  • Mark F

    I don’t understand , you were able to start a hangout befor through messenger ? why is google saying its a new feature ?

  • http://twitter.com/tmkvamme Thomas Kvamme

    Does this update include a tablet version as well. I really hope its not just a big phone app again.

    • http://twitter.com/thehammerofthor Jeff Helget

      I’m gonna pull out my TouchPad and find out… stand by

      • http://twitter.com/thehammerofthor Jeff Helget

        Definitely just a stretch phone app again… :-/

    • RedPandaAlex

      Nope. Still no tablet version. It looks especially ridiculous in landscape mode.

    • teleclimber

      I don’t get it. Didn’t Google say they were super-focused on tablets this year? Is G+ not their most aggressive project right now? And they leave the tablet UI out of the G+ Android app??

      There is a left hand, there is a right hand, but they’re not talking.

  • John

    Great update! It just keeps improving & improving.