When Google launched Google+ many of us made the mistake of thinking it was just another attempt from Google at being social. While Google+ is social, the real magic is in the Android Google+ app, which delivers on many of the iCloud features Apple announced at WWDC and frankly blows some of them out of the water.
Google+ is a new social venture from Google, but the Android app, and soon to arrive iPhone app, are the real stars of the show. With the addition of the Google+ app Google has brought the Android version of iCloud full circle. Steve Jobs may have beat Google to the announcement, but Google+ is the real “Magical” and “Revolutionary” app and tool of 2011.
We’ve already shown how to replicate the iCloud functionality on Android, but now that Google+ is here, you’ll never need to worry about wasting time ensuring that your data is where you want it to be and you are connected to everyone in your various circles.
Photos and Videos
Instant Upload is a standout product from Google. The Instant Upload portion of the Android app automatically upload your photos and videos to a private album for quick access. We were blown away to see a video we shot last weekend appear online, ready for easy sharing within Google+ or to a broader circle.
Unlike Apple, Google+ offers unlimited photo storage and handles video. iCloud will launch with 5GB of free storage, but will require users to purchase more if they blow through this relatively meager limit.
Another bonus with using Google+ is the ability to see your photos on any device in a beautiful layout. Even though there is no iOS app right now, the HTML5 web app offers fast access to your private albums and to photos shared by your circle.
Google+ brings instant group chat to Android, and will soon deliver the same experience on iPhones and iPads. Huddle, is already shaping up to be a great way to keep in touch with a team or larger group and will only get better as more devices gain support.
On the Apple side, iMessage is a great product, but like so many Apple tools it relies too much on a complete buy-in of Apple products. If, gasp, your friends have an Android phone they can’t get in on the iMessage experience other than to receive text messages. With Google+ you can span iPhone and Android. Ideally others will come, but that’s still much more cross-platform than Apple.
Google is quickly piecing together an attractive and useful social tool which can keep your digital life in sync across your mobile devices and on the web. Everything else is covered in the core Google experience (email, calendar and other services), or will be when Google Music leaves beta.