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5 Killer Google Plus Features in the Native Android (and Soon iOS) App

5 Killer Google Plus Features in the Native Android (and Soon iOS) App

Google Plus, the new social networking site that is taking the Web by storm must transition over to the mobile phone and provide an identical experience for mobile users. It is as simple as that and the way mobile users can interact with Google Plus will literally make or break this service as well as any chances it has to really compete with Facebook.

Google has let everyone know that the Google Plus iPhone app has been submitting to Apple for approval and suffice to say that the early users of Google Plus await Apple's stamp of approval anxiously. Meanwhile, the Web app that is available for Google Plus mobile users acts in almost every way like a native app does, minus one small thing. It lacks many basic and necessary features needed to make it a solid replacement for the native app. To name one example, there is no way to post a photo from the Google Plus Web app yet, which clearly is something that needs to change and most likely will in the coming months.

Meanwhile, Android users were the first to receive a full fledged native app for the new social network and based on initial reviews, we have a winner on our hands. Here are five killer features that the native Google Plus Android app offers and are sure to make an appearance on the iOS app as well:

 1: Instant Uploads; When you take a photo on Android with the Google Plus app installed, your photos are automatically uploaded to Google Plus and can be easily shared or just backed up automatically.

2: Unlimited Photo and Video Storage: This one is pretty awesome and not necessarily exclusive to mobile but definitely enhanced by the mobile experience. Google basically lifted its storage limits on Picasa accounts and now gives Google Plus users unlimited capacity for photos and videos. As Google says.

As a Google+ user, you get the following:

  • Unlimited photo uploads. Photos larger than 2,048 by 2,048 pixels will automatically be resized when uploading.
  • Unlimited video uploads (up to 15 minutes per video, up to 1080p)

3: Notifications: The notifications on the Web interface are great, but the notifications on Android are full blown awesome. You get push notifications when someone does one of the following:

  • Comments or +1s on your posts.
  • Mentions (+) of you in a post.
  • Updates and invitations to huddles.
  • Photos you've been tagged in or tags you need to approve.
  • Alerts about your Google+ app.
While in theory this is not too different than the desktop experience, the ability to stay on top of your Google+ account when on the go is an added value on its own. Google will definitely be tweaking the notification system to mute certain types of notifications like you can today with emails, but the Android notification system as a whole is second to none and Google Plus on Android takes full advantage of it.

4: Huddle: I am pretty sure this is THE killer feature of the Google Plus Android app. Huddle allows you to conduct a group chat with people in your circles and communicate with them in real time. This is widely considered Android's answer to BBM and iMessage.

5: Nearby: While Google Plus is not a mobile service exclusively, the ability to share and view location is. Using the Android app (as well as the Web app) you can share your current location and see people in your nearby vicinity who are using Google Plus. This, like many other features and services we use on our mobile device, will decrease the gap between our virtual and real existence.

While some of these features are truly revolutionary and will give Google a +1 in its rivalry against Facebook and others, the important thing is not the features including in the native Google Plus app. The crucial advantage that is has over some of its competitors is the UI and UX. It is fantastic and as a Google Plus user told us on Twitter "ease of use in adding & finding people is great. I find the interface much more user friendly than the Facebook app" are only some of the advantages of the Google Plus Android app.

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