Google+ Media Sharing and Messaging Put iCloud to Shame

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 

Google+ Photos

Google+ Photos from your circles.

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.

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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.

Messaging

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.

  

Comments

  1. Jesse says

    It sounds like the Google+ app is great for photos, videos and messaging across both OS. However, with iCloud I can make sure my purchased music and apps will be pushed to all of my device automatically, without needing to sync, meaning both services have their strong points.

    Personally, I’ll enjoy both services.

    • Anonymous says

      Actually, the Android Market does push all your Apps to all your Android devices. As does Google Music if you want to move your tunes around, and as a bonus both of these Google services have web interfaces and do not rely on something like iTunes.

    • Jesse says

      I’m familiar with the Android market (former Evo owner), and I did enjoy it very much and wish a few features were available in the App Store (e.g. not having to enter my password nearly every time I download or update an app, or leave the app when I download something). However, I wasn’t aware that if you bought an app, say, for your phone, that the app would automatically be pushed to your tablet as well. If so, my apologies. 

      In terms of a web interface, I don’t see why iCloud wouldn’t have a one; after all, MobileMe had a web interface, along with downloadable apps for iDisk. iCloud will also offer daily back-ups over WiFi (not on Android), and documents created in iWork apps automatically get pushed between devices. Granted, you can back-up your Android phone with apps and use DropBox to access documents between devices (and own the iWork apps), but the key difference is I don’t have to do any work to accomplish the task. 

      As for Google Music, it’s hard to compare it to iTunes in the Cloud, as they’re completely different. In order to access new music in Google Music, I’ll first have to upload it to my GM library. Add on the fact that when I want to set up my GM library, it’s going to take days to upload everything. But you can’t argue that the main benefit is having access to all your music. With iTunes in the Cloud, I won’t have access to all my music as I am limited to the storage on my device (no streaming). However, I think it’s safe to say that iTunes Match will (hopefully) be a phenomenal service that does away with the long upload times to a could drive. 

      • brandon says

        Android automatically keeps your contacts and applications backed up… over wifi or 3G.  If you go and enter your google account details into a new phone you will be asked if you want to reinstall said data on your new device.  I’m sure iCloud will deliver a more complete service for photo’s, docs etc. but there’s still time for google to up the ante before icloud launches.

  2. Circled Space says

    Google Circles Crushed A Family’s Dream

    While Google + team are excited and happy of the outcome of the reviews and responses about the beta version release of Google +,   a family is heartbroken  of the loss of their dream.

    It is claimed that an entrepreneur had an idea of a social networking website based on the concept that a user can create and manage groups of friends.   Groups may be created based on groups like family,   online friends or groups based on interests of the user such as swimming,  writing, basketball  and so on.   He wanted to enable the users to communicate to other users with the same interests and he would  provide privacy tools that a friend in a certain group may not have access to messages, notifications, friends, photos, videos of different groups.    Let’s say, a message is meant to be sent to the group Family,  that message will not be received by the friends of group Online Friends. Also, friends in the group Online Friends will not be able to view the user’s family pictures and videos unless explicitly granted by the user.   His vision was to create a social networking site for people who do not like Facebook’s and Myspace’s  single pile of friends and lack of privacy tools.  

    The concept of groups to him is not new as he had this idea in mind way back when he purchased  an invite domain name http://www.clicktorsvp.com in 2004.  He had this concept of sending invitations to different sets of groups by creating and managing groups of invitees.   While thinking of a matching domain name for the group social networking site,  he kept looking for funding which will include the patent expenses for the group social networking website.   In order for him to hide this idea from investors,  he instead disclosed the idea of  his local search website named http://www.switchlocal.com but told the  prospective  investors that  part of the funding will be used for patent expenses of a new generation of social networking website and the investors will also co-own it  without telling them the actual concept as it may get stolen.   Unfortunately,  he was not able to secure any funding.   The breakthrough could have happened when a friend was about to pour-in some minimal funding but backed-out later on.   

     
    He started researching on how to create a patent by himself as he did not have any funds available to hire a patent lawyer.   Having 2 to 3 hours of sleep every night,  having some recurring medical symptoms, working full-time, running a family by himself and adding the burden of a writing a patent took a significant toll to his health.   He was rushed to  emergency room in January 2009 and medical bills piled up .   Even when  he was paying minimal payments every month, the hospital  ruined his credit that caused banks to close his credit cards which made it much  more impossible to get patent money.   
     
    While recovering from an undiagnosed  medical condition,   he went back to work in his full-time job,  he  postponed writing the patent and stopped the development of an almost finished switchlocal.com website.
    Still, he did not give up his hope and kept dreaming that someday he may start his group social networking website.    He did not doubt  that he could accomplish it because in 2006, he successfully completed  a cake website named http://www.cakeamerica.com without any  external funding.   (He did not make  money out of it because he did quit the idea of charging the cake businesses when he learned some of them were struggling single-parents running their home businesses).

    It was in 2010 that he came up with the matching name for the group social networking website.   It is  http://www.circledspace.com — circles would represent the groups and the space in the name is  to indicate it is a social networking website such as http://www.myspace.com .   He was so excited when he got that name, he told his kids that even if they could not secure any  funding,  the three of them will make this happen.   His son, 13 years old,  will take care of the CSS and some minor Javascript coding and  his daughter, 11 years old, will take care of the design images and him will take care of the actual programming.   He told his kids that circledspace.com will be the means of securing funds for their college education.    The family used to talk about the plan and this dream but they realized the mounting task ahead of them.   It was planned that they will start developing circledspaced.com in summer of 2011.

    Then, the heart-breaking news broke out on June 28th  2011 – the beta version  of Google + was released.

    “On Tuesday,  when I  saw the news about Google + Circles,  I was shocked,  I felt a sudden weakening of my body,  my eyes became teary,   and I just murmured ,  my family just lost a dream.   Google + Circles is 100% the same as my concept of circledspace.com.    Since that day until now I am having difficulty sleeping.    I had that idea for years.   I thought my family could have hit a home run but a very big powerful competitor ran over us.”  said the entrepreneur in Comstock Park, Michigan.

    He took a deep breath and furthermore said. “One day,  my Lord Jesus will  let my family hit a home run too.   All I desire is to secure the college education of my children.    If Manny Pacquiao could emerge as a world boxing champion in spite of all the hardships  and obstacles he faced,   I believe one day my family will eventually emerge a winner too. ”

    • Nonayerbizness says

      Heart warming… I mean heart breaking…  Actually, neither.  

      I once had an amazing idea and vision.  This is not a joke.  

      Years ago I took in a couple of stray kittens.  They were cute as hell.  I felt good for my act of kindness.  

      But – I hated cleaning their litter box.  I’m an electronically and mechanically inclined guy.  My vision was an automated litter box.  For months I drew sketches and schematics.  It would have a motion sensor that would activate a comb that would remove clumps to a separate sealed bin – but only if motion had stopped for 5 minutes.  I figured the contraption would have to retail for $200, considering it would have electronics, motors, mechanisms, etc.  My conclusion was that no one in their right mind would pay $200 for a box for an animal to excrete in.  I did not pursue my idea with vigor.

      Several years later while on a plane I saw my exact design in the Sky Mall catalog.  The best part? The price was $199.  I was so “right on” it’s ridiculous. 

      The payback the Lord Jesus granted me is that both cats turned out to be male, sprayed my apartment and cost me $1,000 in lease penalties and cleaning fees.  I only throw that in because the reference in the story is a cheesy attempt at jerking heart strings.  No offense to J. Christ.

      Everyone of us have great ideas, visions and dreams.  A lot of us have really great ideas.  Most of these ideas are probably duplicated in the minds and hearts of strangers we’ve never meet.  Don’t ever kid yourself and think you are “the only one that’s ever thought of this!”  Scores of others have, and have not been successful at seeing the ideas through.  Few of us have the tenacity, dedication, knowledge and business skills to bring an idea to market.

      That’s life.

    • Anonymous says

      Not to be harsh, but what a load of crap. 

      As a small business owner and father of two I can sympathies with your plight, but you owe it to your family to suck less and take control of your path. Not charging the cake makers for a service you made due to an emotional reaction to there hardships? What kind of business person are you? The hardships of your family come first and if you can not see this than you need to get and/or stick with your 9-5 job.

      And what is this, “my Lord Jesus will  let my family hit a home run too” nonsense?  I am all for asking high powers for help with hardship, but this entire post was a “woe is me, I have been wronged” line of crap. 

      YOU are the only one who cares about you. YOU are the only person you can rely on, and YOU are the only person who has control over the choices you make. I am happy for you that you seem to have found a path to walk. I am disappointed that you seem to stop at every damn Starbucks along the way in hopes of meeting some one who can give you a ride. And I am pissed that you would vent this pathetic “I am the victim, I have had it hard” nonsense on a public forum completely unrelated to your issues. 

      There is no such thing as original concept because everything is a mimicry of that which we comprehend.

    • John_grif says

      Boo hoo. Spend more time implementing your idea and less time writing comments on the web and you might succeed.

    • Gruntledlark says

      boo-hoo. First, you don’t need a patent to start a website, no matter how “ground breaking” (not) it is. Second, IDEAS aren’t really worth spit. IMPLEMENTED IDEAS, now that’s worth something. Your friend had a good idea, but hemmed and hawed and pissed around w/o implementing it. The idea of having “circles” or groups in a social networking site is not really that innovative. We’ve had pretty much the same idea in email since, oh, FOREVER. Third, there’s nothing to say that he still can’t launch his site. Who knows, maybe he’ll have a better interface or paradigm than Google+? maybe he’ll have that one little wrinkle that make people fall in love w/ it. Maybe some people just don’t like to have anythign to do w/ Google and will appreciate the same features from a different provider.

  3. Circled Space says

    Thanks Nonayerbizness and EntrepreNerd!

    I wrote this article as as a form of therapy.  

    I have not able to sleep well for more than 1 week.   Before Google Circles,  my idea which was exactly the same thing as ShopAlert by AT&T.  My idea of SwitchLocal was way back in 2006.   My ClicktoRSVP was way back in 2004.   My frustration was nobody wants to invest. 

    I wrote this as a news article and submitted it to PRWEB.com.    They accepted the payment but when I submitted this article they said they cannot push this article as this has an intent to harm.  
    I asked them, is there anything wrong about the truth.   This is a story of an entrepreneur who had no funding.   I think I represent the frustrations of many startup founders.

    Patents protect your ideas.   Unfortunately, many startup founders cannot afford to patent their intellectual property. 

    I want to share this amazing thing that happened in 2006 while I was developing a search engine that was embedded in http://www.cakeamerica.com .  My search was too slow and I knew I exhausted everything I knew…  then I prayed Lord Jesus please help …  it was amazing…  my light bulb lighted up…  and modified my search engine in 5 minutes and it was amazing fast and could consider hundreds of words in the search phrase and Google could only search 32 words at that time.

    I have lots of amazing stories that I got helped from above.

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