It’s not very often that I get to see products or services from Google that are so beautifully designed. I speak for myself, of course, but I think in this case I can probably represent a majority vote. That is until today because Google just unveiled a totally new update to Google+ for iOS and man is it a beauty.
As Senior VP for Social Business Vic Gundotra puts it in a blog post, the new iPhone app moves in the much needed direction of a “simpler, more beautiful Google.” That started in April with the redesign the of Google+ on the web and now Google is taking what they learned about good design and bringing it to our smartphones. This app update ditches most of the bright, vibrant colors Google is known for with sleek blacks and grays with the Helvetica Light font, giving the whole app a very prestigious feel.
There’s now a much more evident focus on browsing photos — make sense, because photos are one of the most widely acclaimed features of Google+. It’s almost like scrolling through a dark version of Instagram occasionally mixed with plain text posts. Google+ tries to surface a photo whenever possible. Profile pages and Messenger have both been totally streamlined as well with the new modern look.
Even with all the eye candy going on, don’t forget function as a big aspect of design as well. I’m happy to report Google delivers here too. The app is very fast to load content and browsing is silky smooth. I wish the Facebook app worked even half as well as the Google+ app now works. Plus, it’s so good that it actually makes me want to use Google+ for once! (Methinks that’s the whole motivation behind this update in the first place.)
In a strange twist, the new Google+ app is available for the iPhone and iPod touch before Android. Gundotra promises the Android update will arrive in a few weeks “with a few extra surprises.”