Monday, August 8, 2011

Google+ Took A Leap In Usability For iOS

This morning, the big news about the Google+ [iTunes link] iOS app is that it gained support for the iPad and iPod Touch.  Like everyone else, I thought it was going to be an iPad-specific app.  But, no.  It's just the iPhone app on the iPad.  Strangely enough, the first two revisions of Google+ could not be installed on the iPad without some hacking.

Here's the list of features added with today's update:

  • Huddle settings
  • Aggregated circle add notifications
  • iPod Touch & iPad support
  • Performance and stability improvements

All of that sounds good, but I found a game-changing feature that will help me to use Google+ on the iPhone and iPad a lot more.
First, make sure you update your app to version

  • Now, open the app and look for the light gray bar under the word "Stream." It has words like "Circles," "Nearby," "Incoming," etc.
  • Tap the light gray bar and you will get a new screen called "Choose views."

  • This is a listing of your circles. Tap the blank circle on the left to add a circle to the light gray bar.
  • The three lines on the right of each circle allows you to set your default stream and the order it goes from there. So, if you put the "Friends" circle at the top, your app will launch with that stream automatically.
  • The next circle you choose goes to the right of your default stream and so forth for each of your selected circles.
  • The last selected circle will end up to the left of your default stream. So, I feel the first, second and last selected circles on this list should be most important to you since they will be easiest to get to when you first open the app.
  • When you go back to your Stream view, all you have to do is swipe to the left or right to change your streams.

I hope my instructions were understandable.  From day one, I had been pining for a way to set the default stream since seeing all of your circles in one stream is not very useful.  Now we have it!  At least on the iOS app.

I'm expecting to use Google+ a lot more because of this change.  I apologize in advance if this feature was already there and I didn't know about it.

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