Sunday, July 10, 2011

Google+

So, I got myself an invite to Google+ (Google Plus). This post will be about what I like and don't liek about Google+ and how it compares to FaceBook. If you don't know what Google+ is then this post isn't for you. Ask around your friends, I am sure someone has it and they can send you an invite. Otherwise, you can look me up on FaceBook and if I know you I will probably send you an invite. Now for the review.

What I like about Google+

  1. I really like the "Circles" idea. This is a much easier way to keep friends and family organized into groups. You can add people to multiple groups or just one group. You can even make new groups, such as the "Army Buddies" group I made for those that I have served in the military with. Also, you can add anyone with a Google+ account for easy access to there Google+ page. However, if they do not put you into a circle, then you can only see public posts and you cannot write on their wall, or page, or whatever Google+ calls it. I really like that idea a lot. This way you can keep family arguments out of the public eye, if you want to. 
  2. Hangout, it looks promising, but I am taking a "wait and see" approach to this one. Basically its group video chat. I think we all remember chat roulette. 
  3. Instant Mobile Upload. This is great. With my Android Phone I can auto upload photo's I take on my phone without actually going to the app to do it. The great thing is they go to a private folder and won't actually be shared until I choose to share them. This keeps me from accidentally posting that really embarrassing one with the lampshade. 

What I don't like about Google+

  1. Too FaceBookey. The simple layout is very bland and seems to use the same "format" or layout as FaceBook. Granted Google users have always had a penchant for the simplified UI, but this is just too close to call "A Unique Experience". 
  2. So far, I can find no blogger.com auto link. It would be nice to post a status update when new blog posts are made. Granted I have been very busy and not tending to this the way I need to, but then again I am not even sure if it will survive once I get back to work in a couple weeks. This vacation can't last forever. 
  3. "Circles", again. You can add anyone with an email address. Even if they do not have an account. Makes it simple to add contacts, but then again, I already have GMail for that. 

What I would like to see in Google+

  1. Better UI. Yes, I know Google+ is still in active beta testing, but it could be cleaned up a lot better and not be so ... facebookey. 
  2. Better Alerts Notification. I have an alert on mine that I have acknowledged at least ten times, and it still shows up as a new alert each time I close my browser and reopen the page. This really needs to get fixed or I am going to start ignoring these things and that will make them useless and redundant. 
  3. A little more customization of the site. Don't get crazy with it like MySpace, but allow a little something to make it your own. Something like iGoogle would be nice. I use iGoogle as my web browser start page and I love it. Perhaps Google could add a widget for iGoogle to check updates without actually loading the page. Maybe. 
As was stated before, Google+ is still very much in Beta Testing but overall I like it very much. While I won't be dropping my Facebook page anytime soon, I can see the possibility of that day coming.  Only time will tell.