Google Plus iPhone App Approved--But Users Have Gripes (SCREENSHOTS)
The iPhone app for Google+, Google's new social network, has been approved by Apple and is now available for free download in the App Store.
So how does the app match-up to the Google+ experience online? What can (and can't) it do?
Overall, it's quite similar, though it's missing a few notable components, namely "Sparks," a simple news reader for user-defined areas of interest, "Hangouts," a one-on-one or group video chat service, and the ability to post new content to your Google+ profile.
However, the core of the social network seems to be in the app, including Circles and an easily accessible Stream featuring updates from the people a user has put into her Circles.
Huddles, Google+'s group messaging feature is interesting as well, as the chat function could replace SMS to some extent, allowing users to start conversations with both individuals and groups via text. You can learn more about Huddles here, on Google's official page.
The reviews however, have been mixed. The app has received 573 ratings on the App Store thus far, with 272 reviewers giving the app the highest rating (five stars) and 126 reviewers offering just one star.
Television star and social media celebrity Alyssa Milano complained that the app "crashed twice in the 10 minutes I've been on it," a sentiment shared by many early downloaders. However, the app was quickly updated in the iTunes store to address some concerns.
Google Mobile's Lead Product Manager, Punit Soni, addressed some of the issues in a post on Google+ just before the update.
For example, he noted in response to complaints that the app was repeatedly crashing, "This may be related to the lack of IOS5 support. We are digging deep into other crash reports as we speak." According to Soni, iOS 5 is "unsupported at this point," with device support for iPhones and iPads "coming soon."
However, one issue that was barely addressed was the inability to share posts that appear in your stream. Soni stated that it's a feature they're working on addressing, and that it should be coming soon. Users do currently have the ability to +1 a post via the app.
Users using iOS5 developer demos have also reported crashes, and Google engineers are currently investigating the crash reports.
See screenshots of the app below, then let us know what you think of it (you can download it from Apple's App Store here). Check out our guide to Google+, as well as our list of people to follow on Google+.