Google+ getting a makeover, aims to look more beautiful, be more functional

Google+ getting a makeover, aims to look more beautiful, be more functional

Google is giving their new social network, Google+, a makeover in an attempt to increase not only its beauty, but its functionality.

A critical piece of this social layer is a design that grows alongside our aspirations. So today we’re introducing a more functional and flexible version of Google+. We think you’ll find it easier to use and nicer to look at, but most importantly, it accelerates our efforts to create a simpler, more beautiful Google.

Navigation you can make your own

One of the first things you’ll notice is a new way to get around the stream. Instead of static icons at the top, there’s a dynamic ribbon of applications on the left. This approach comes with lots of perks, but some of our favorites include:

  • You can drag apps up or down to create the order you want
  • You can hover over certain apps to reveal a set of quick actions
  • You can show or hide apps by moving them in and out of “More”

Strangely, Google calls Google+ an "upgrade" rather than a "new integrated social service". That's odd language to use. Then again, Google has a odd and serious challenge ahead of it. Outside of Googlers and Android aficionados like our good friends at Android Central, most people just don't seem to be using Google+. Better integrating Google+ into extremely popular Google services like Search, Gmail, YouTube might help make Google+ seem more successful, or it might just annoy users of those services who have no interest -- or an active dislike -- for Google+. At this point, in the greater online and mobile communities, users are basically telling Google they're fine with Facebook and Twitter. In a recent iMore poll, we found that while 43% of iPhone users used Facebook and 33% used Twitter, only 5% used Google+ (16% used Instagram). On the iPad, 50% used Facebook, 35% used Twitter, and only 4% used Google+ (10% used Instagram).

No word on when, or if, any of this new beauty or functionality will filter down to the Google+ iOS app.

Check out the video below and let us know -- will the makeover get you to use Google+ any more than you already do?

Source: Google Blog via Android Central

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Google+ getting a makeover, aims to look more beautiful, be more functional

12 Comments

i have been wondering the same. i have also read of some people claiming that this is indeed an issue but i do not see how if you have location services turned OFF. do you have yours turned off?

I would attribute it squarely to the G+ app not being as good on iOS. It isn't nearly as quick to alerts, etc on my iPhone or iPad as on my Evo. If they stepped up their iOS game, I think it would be more useful to your audience.

I would like to see G+ become more popular and functional. After I deactivated my FB account I haven't looked back, Facebook sucks.

I understand that they want to promote their own mobile OS, but if they are looking for market share and engaging people, they really need to step up the iOS app. It's just not nearly as fluid as the apps from other social networks. I really just have no desire to use it.

I like the new UI, though Google+ still does not take good advantage of wider displays.
Now, if they would just spend this much effort on the iOS app...

Not being used, huh? You're hanging out with the wrong crowd. I have dozens of people in my circles and none of them fit your supposed audience description.