Thoughts: the Google+ iPad App Is Underwhelming So Far

This evening I noticed that the Google+ iPad app was available in the App Store. I downloaded the app immediately and gave it a thorough spin. After playing with it for about 20 minutes I have come to the verdict that it’s underwhelming, at least on user-friendliness. It has quite a number of design flaws in my opinion. Although it looks very slick at first glance, I was longing back to the tablet-optimized Google+ browser version that I have been using on my iPad in the past few weeks.

A couple of things I don’t like about the Google+ iPad app:

  • Tapping the blue headline of a post that contains a link does not open the link but the post. Tapping the headline again of the post opens the link. One tap too many in my opinion. I think there should be a distinction between tapping the headline or tapping the post for the app to decide which one to open.
  • When a post contains a picture, I can only use pinch to zoom in or out when it’s a picture that was shared. If the picture or image comes from a link that was shared, pinch-zooming is not possible. When you try anyway, you end up closing the post and going back to your timeline.
  • Posts are displayed in a small strip that take up half the screen in portrait mode and in landscape mode about a third of the screen. Not very effective use of screen estate. On a desktop browser there is an abundance of whitespace, but on the iPad there is an abundance of ‘blackspace’.
  • Pulling a post upwards to display the comments works very neat. What I don’t like is the font size for the comments. It is so small that it is even hard to read on an iPad 3 with Retina screen.
  • A suggestion to improve usability: instead of using the arrow button at the top left of the screen to go back to the timeline, I would like to use a swipe across the screen from left to right. An alternative would be to click somewhere in the blackspace behind a post to go back to the timeline.
  • Copying and pasting text in the app is not possible. Annoying…
  • Editing a post is not possible either. I only have the option to delete a post.

These are my two cents. Does anyone agree with me or have an other opinion?