Google+ needs more Plus

Google+ is a huge success. Even everyday people ask for it, use it and are interested to move on from Facebook. To me, it still feels like a beta as I believe Google didn’t expect it to catch on that fast. Therefore I will list, what I think Google+ definitely needs to do better.

Huddles for the Webapp

DSP 83: Thumbs Up! 2007-08-08
While the mobile apps support “huddles”, which are nothing else but group chats, these cannot be seen in the website. That this is not just a GTalk group chat makes only sense because people might not have used GTalk or the GMail webview before, so it could be made a single “chatting”-website, but ultimately it should be a usual GTalk group chat, so that other GTalk clients can benefit from that.

Additionally, Huddles for the mobile app are extremely handy for shorthand-group chats has you’ll get a push-notification for each message, but for each of such communications it should be possible to silence the push-notifications or just send one on the first new message instead of one for everytime someone writes a message.

Hangouts for the mobile apps

Hangouts are about the same as Huddles, you just can talk live and chat and watch Youtube while you’re in the room. Why shouldn’t you be able to talk with the other people while you’re using your mobile phone? Especially if you’re in a WiFi network? Or at least see the chat? If Google treats group-posts, messages, group-chats in GTalk, Hangouts, Huddles, mail and just everything differently, how should users know which one to use?

Fix the mobile app’s bugs

The Android and iOS apps are buggy. Sometimes they crash without any reason, and oftentimes the notification count is not what I should be. This needs to be fixed.

Improve Circle’s posting

Cicles are a huge win, and everyone knows it. What I miss from here is operations you can do with there circles.

For example, it would be nice to define that “Friends” and “Coworkers” are automatically in “Contacts”, so you have lesser clicking if you know the implications of adding a coworker for example. Inheritance would be a nice feature, although not everyone might use it.

Being able to do set operations would be another huge advantage. My use case is to have cicles of people understanding English, and people understanding German. If I do a german post, I would like to make sure only people of the targeted circle (for example “contacts”) that are also in the circle “german” can read it, the intersection of those circles. In theory, this is a very simple operation, and I would love this. If you think adhead, having other set operations could be nice too. If you for example make a joke about how stupid programmers are, you might want to post if to all your contacts minus those that you’ve also added to “programmers”.

Make Spaks useful

Spraks seem to be an aggregation of Google news. I would love to be able to set the “metatags” of a certain Google+ post. For example, if you find out a nice feature about the new Macbook Air that just came out, you should be able to tag it with the appropriate words, so it appears in everyone’s sparks for “Macbook Air” for example.

Open up the API

Facebook and Twitter weren’t extremely useful without clients, and Google+ isn’t too. There’re unofficial APIs out there (and Abelssoft has already released a Windows client for Google+ here), but these unofficial APIs rely on HTML parsing and therefore are not very convenient to use, are not too fast and also don’t open up all the functionality that Google+ offers.

That’s what I think. Am I missing something?

Creative Commons License photo credit: vernhart

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