Back in May, a sleek, highly visual iPhone app was launched that retooled the entire look of Google+ on mobile. Today Google has finally released an official iPad app that follows suit and places an emphasis on the visual presentation of user posts. In addition to the slick look, some beneficial features accompany the new app making it a breeze to use Google+ on an iPad.
Surprisingly the iPad app looks quite different than the web version of Google+. Bigger visuals, different sized content boxes and action buttons overlay-ed atop the graphics to create a flipboard-esque experience. The app is stunning to look at and really places a premium on photos.
One thing that the inundation of images offsets are those posts that do not feature links or media. Posts that are simply status updates or can’t find an image to pull show up with blue text on a white background. If you’re trying to get noticed without images or thumbnails it’s going to be tough. This may be a hint at where exactly Google+ is going, as more of an image/content sharing tool than a update driven social network.
In order to have your posts show up as the extra large size it appears that they must be an image only post with good resolution.
Drag Posts To Share
One of the slickest features of the app is the ability to quickly share a post by dragging and dropping with two fingers. A swipe with just one finger will scroll through the stream, but if you use two fingers the post can be dropped into a share box:
Once the post is dropped into the share box, the user can choose which circles to share with. While the act to share may be a bit over-architected, it sure is fun to do.
Pinch To Expand Posts Form Your Stream
When browsing your stream on the new app, a pinch to expand will blow the post up full screen on the iPad. While the double tap on the post works as well, the pinch makes it easy to view content without tapping or holding down content.
Once expanded, the post content and media/link shows up in the middle of the screen. The pinch on posts that feature links doesn’t open the actual link, rather the initial user post which seems somewhat clunky.
Hangout From iPad & Stream to AirPlay
The star feature of Google+, Hangouts, can not only be utilized on the iPad, but streamed to AirPlay as well. If you hit “hangout” from the main menu you can fire up a video chat with up to nine other friends. Users can turn a ring on or off for inbound hangout notifications.
Overall the Google+ app is quite slick with spectacular visuals. Head over to the App Store to download the iPad app today.