Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Google+ App for the iPhone Arrived, and My Focus Left

Originally published at Absentminded Author, v1.

In the back of my mind I know I am supposed to be doing something very important. It niggles at me like a midge around my nose, but I swat it away. My afternoon has been spent preoccupied with the Google+ app for the iPhone.

Notifications in sync with the web service, sharing photos finally from my camera roll, huddling with strangers in warm circles, notification badges letting me know when something's been updated… It's been a geek's paradise.

There are a few reefs to navigate on our way to Paradise Island:

  • We can't reshare any items, making this social networking app almost useless for social networking.

  • We can't copy text from other G+ posts in order to quote or share with others

  • We can't tag people with a + unless they are in our Address Book, as opposed to our G+ circles which would be arguably more useful, thus further severing social connections.

  • We can't re-edit posts. (People such as myself need a magic eraser to redo most mistakes in life because we make so many of them.)

Lastly, the "Nearby" timeline is jumbled up. Oddly, a post from 18 days ago will be followed by a post from 30 minutes ago, followed by a post from 3 days ago, followed by 5 days, 2 hours, 10 minutes, 4 days, etc. If you like to see your local social networking history served to you like Scrabble tiles dumped on a board, then Google+ is for you. If you were hoping to find out what's going on around you right this very moment, it is less than helpful. The jumble isn't any different than what users of the mobile web interface see, but I had hoped that was due to poor GPS support through the browser. Now I know differently. It's very beta.

All in all, though, I can see myself using the service more now that I can share photos with it. It's snappier than the web version, and offers more features, but I will likely only use Google+ when I'm at my Mac in my studio. The lack of resharing means G+ will only be a platform for self-broadcasting for the time being and I already do that with my two blogs, two Twitter accounts, Facebook, etc. Wow, that sounds pretty pathetic, doesn't it?

At any rate, I can't see myself abandoning Facebook as others have done, or deleting my blogs and pointing my domains to my G+ homepage. The service is a geek's paradise only for the moment. Others will find their way to paradise. Then there will be billboards, and scooter rentals, and traffic jams. If you are on G+, drop by http://gplus.to/cootey and toss me in a circle. Give it a name like "Obviously Distracted From Important Matters". Say "Hi." We can be distracted together.

Meanwhile, there's that midge again…


Follow me on Twitter for my ADHD escapades at @SplinteredMind or my novel writing over at @DouglasCootey. And if you're a glutton for punishment you can friend me on Facebook as well.