Earlier in May, Google pushed a major revamp of it’s Plus application to the iOS platform. That update included a complete refresh of the layout and provided extra functionality that we enjoyed on the Android platform. The update quickly made the Android version look stale so we waited, most of us impatiently, for our update. This morning that update has pushed into the Play Store. With this update, Android users are treated to the following changes:
- Visual refresh of the stream and improved navigation
- Initiate a Hangout from the main menu
- Support for ringing hangout notification
- Support for post editing
- Messenger suggestions for people you may know
- Download photos from posts or Messenger conversations
Essentially from the main page, we get a drop down box accessing our stream, profile, messenger, hangouts, photos, and circles. One will be reminded of the newer Facebook layout where they have a massive drop down menu from the home screen. From there we can also see our notifications with that classic red numbered box. The hangout screens are much more intuitive like the desktop version. It almost seems too easy to start a hangout. The photo screen gives a much richer experience using this new layered look to access phone pictures, profile pictures, etc. Sharing seems to be a lot less brain intensive than it did before. Overall the flow is crisp and much cleaner.
The bulk of the update centers around the stream. There is almost a Flipboard feel with the scrolling. Newer posts animate to the screen giving a much different experience from the vanilla scrolling experience that existed before. Once in a post, however, there is no swiping back at this point; returning to the previous area requires a button press . The UI changes are overdue, but did it go overboard? What’s working well and not working for you? Be sure to let us know in the comment area below!
Google+ is available at no cost through the Google Play Store.