I was planning on writing a post about the new season of True Blood first, but I’ve been spending half of my time screwing with Google Plus – or G+ like all the cool kids are calling it. I might go more in depth about it later, but for right now, I just wanted to give a list of my likes and dislikes.
First – The Likes
1. By Default, you can easily moderate content. You are prompted from the very beginning to put people into Circles, and to only share things to Circles that you want to see the content. You can even moderate people that don’t even have accounts yet, so if you want to put Mom into Circle for when she eventually gets an account, you can do that! This means that you can add people that aren’t necessarily “friends,” much like you would on Twitter. But since you can filter your Stream by Circle, you can make sure that you don’t lose your real friends in all the chatter of random people.
2. The phone app is fricking amazing. It’s quick, it doesn’t seem to destroy my Droid X’s battery, and it’s effective. It also has a setting to automatically upload all photos that I take with my Droid to a Private Picasa folder. (this feature is disabled by default though, if you tend to take pics that you don’t want randomly on a web, even if it is a private gallery).
3. The first few times that you post to your Stream after you’ve taken a new picture, there is a little camera icon that has a number with it (the number of pictures you’ve taken recently by haven’t shared). I like it because when I take a cool picture, then forget about it ten minutes later, Google reminds me that I haven’t shared it with my friends.
4. At present, there are no spammy addons, games, etc. And I know that when there one day is, that the Circles feature will allow me to isolate the people that play those games into their own spammy little Circle. Conversely, if I decided to play those games, I could place my friends who also played into that little Circle as well, so I wouldn’t have to harass the remainder of my friends.
5. Google tries to prevent you (and your friends) from being douches. When you share something to your Circle, you can flag it as not share-able, so other people can’t post it to potential strangers. If you don’t mark something us “Do Not Share,” and only share it to a few Circles (as opposed to sharing it Publicly), your friends will get a message if they try to reshare it. Basically, what it says is, “Hey, your friend didn’t share this publicly, do you really want to share this?”
6. The Circles aren’t just for privacy. You can make a Circle for all the Star Trek fans, or all the people in your Drama club so you don’t need to spam the people who don’t give a crap about this stuff. I’m really hopeful that this will cause an overall more “likable” group of people on Google Plus, because it’s so easy to control who sees what.
7. You can see whether a friend posted something Publicly, or to a Limited group of people. You can click where it says Limited to see everyone that has access to it. This prevents awkward situations when you reply to someone’s status, and someone that you don’t want to see it responds.
8. Google Integration. I use Gmail, Google and Google Docs a LOT. I like that I can view and respond to my G+ notifications without even leaving the tab that I’m on. It also makes it easier to keep up with your Notifications while you’re trying to “look busy” at work.
9. The Feedback submission is nice. It seems that Google is already acting on some of the Feedback that people have registered.
1. You can’t at this time manage your Circles on the Phone app, which can make it clunky if you’re trying to respond to a Notification that someone has added you to a Circle. You had to go to each person’s individual profile and edit it from there.
2. There is no present way to change the Permissions on your Profile pic. Everyone sees it by default. I would like to see it so different Circles can see different Profile pics.
3. It would be nice if you could change the privacy settings on your Comments to Friends Statuses. Like limit it to only people in Mutual circles, or only the person who’s Status you’re responding to. Again, this would prevent awkward situations where someone that you don’t want knowing your business is in a friend’s Circle.
4. Many companies and Universities utilize Google Mail for their institutions. I’d like to see the new Notification toolbar on top of these pages as well. (for reasons expressed in my feedback screenshot above)