Google+ makes huge change
Google+ makes radical change to its app.
Vic Gundotra has been running the engineering teams at Google since 2006, but he has never been so adamant about what Google is building than he is today. Why? One simple word and reason: Design.
The new app design is much different than the previous Google+ app and from the Google+ site interface.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "We care more about design than we ever have in our history," Gundotra said the day after his pet project, Google+, launched a groundbreaking new redesign for its iPhone app.
The new app design is much different than the previous Google+ app and from the Google+ site interface. The act of scanning social media updates is turned into a highly visual experience by having your avatar with the signature image of whatever you're posting and then overlaying the first two lines of your text, making the effect very appealing. The app was released on May 9.
For Gundotra, the goal with the new app was simple: Make sharing less intimidating and make it more attractive. To accomplish that, Gundotra's team started over with their existing mobile app. They wanted to invent something that took advantage of the strengths of today's smartphones.
"Sharing is one of the most stressful things people do," Gundotra said. "When they share, they want to be really proud of what they share. So we asked ourselves, 'How can we put them in the best light possible?' We want to make you look good when you share."
"We don't believe mobile is a small version of the desktop," he added. "We are optimizing the experience for the device... The intimacy of touch allows us to do things you wouldn't do on the desktop."
Facebook and Google+ have no character limit, so posts have the potential to be longer and sharing photos is more common. The result is a mobile experience that feels like a crippled rip-off of the desktop experience.
That's why Google+ decided to go visual. The new result is a social app that is relatable to Flipboard r Pinterest, rather than Twitter or Facebook apps. The question is how well the app will do. Will it be successful? Google+ is mostly used by a group of 'technophiles' so the updates are not flowing as fast as Twitter. Additional functionality is being built into the Android app. The iPhone app with the basic functions was finished before the Android app was ready, so Gundotra made the decision to release it. However, he wrote that the Android app would be released in a "few weeks" and that it would include some "extra surprises."
Google has almost been anti-design from the beginning. The secret of the company's success has always been its simplicity. The site has virtually no design except for the multi-colored Google logo and a simple text entry field. Google's Android has often been criticized, being called a knock-off of the iPhone. Google Docs has suffered from inconsistency and unappealing designs.
However, since Larry Page returned as Google's CEO last April, he has put much more emphasis on product development by perfecting the products already released and cutting the number of products Google is working on.
"Creating a simpler, more intuitive experience across Google has been [an] important focus. I have always believed that technology should do the hard work -- discovery, organization, communication -- so users can do what makes them happiest: living and loving, not messing with annoying computers! That means making our products work together seamlessly... As Sergey said in the memorable way only he can, 'We've let a thousand flowers bloom; now we want to put together a coherent bouquet.'"
People saw few hints of this last year when Google simplified its home page and released an updated navigation bar that has been standardized across all its major products. But this new mobile app is the most powerful example of service that Google+ wants to become, with the kind of products that Page's new Google wants to overall create.
"Google+ is demonstrating what will be the future of the entire company," said Gundotra. "We want software to be emotionally resonant with users... This is just the beginning."
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: technology, Google, Google+, app, change
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