Google Plus, the search giant’s latest try at social media, seems to be taking off. I’m not going to try to explain Google Plus here. If you need an introduction to it a couple of good ones are Google’s interactive tutorial and and Paul Boutin’s clear description of the basics. This post is a look at the available options for using Plus on a mobile device.
The richest Google Plus experience is with the official Android app which requires Android 2.1 or latter. Almost as good is the iOS app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 4.0 or latter.
For everyone else there are two mobile Webapps which Google calls “Mobile” and “Basic Mobile“. I’m going to call the “Mobile” version “Rich Mobile” to more clearly distinguish it from the “Basic Mobile” one. The table below from the Google Plus online help summarizes the features of each version:
|Feature||Android app (1)||iPhone app (2)||Mobile Web app (3)||Basic Mobile web app (4)|
|Share in the stream|
|Moderate comments & posts||Desktop only|
|Post & delete photos|
- Available for Android phones (2.1+).
- Available for iPhone and iPod Touch (iOS 4+).
- Access the web app by going to google.com/+ on an Android device (1.5+) or iPhone and iPod Touch (iOS 3+).
- Access the web app by going to google.com/+ on a BlackBerry (6.0+), Nokia/Symbian, or Windows Mobile device.
*Note: Location support may vary based on your device.
Google’s help suggests that the web apps only work on a limited number of smartphone browsers. That’s not true. I Google is being much too modest about the great cross platform support in the Google Plus Web Apps. I tried Google Plus with a variety of browsers with the following results:
When you visit google.com/+, or the easier to type plus.google.com, with a mobile browser you should get redirected to one of the mobile versions. Android, iOS and bada devices get the rich mobile version by default and all the other browsers I tried get the Basic Mobile one. The defaults are mostly reasonable – although Symbian and WebOS users would be better served with the rich Mobile version. Google provides links at the bottom of the Basic Mobile version that let you switch to the rich mobile one (or the desktop version which didn’t work very well in any of the mobile browsers I’ve tried and gave an “unsupported browser” message in the Symbian^3 browser). The rich mobile version doesn’t have a link to the basic one but you can easily switch to it using the url: https://m.google.com/app/plus/x/
Actually you can force any browser, mobile or desktop to try to load any version of Google Plus by using the appropriate URLs as follows:
Rich Mobile: https://m.google.com/app/plus/?force=1
Basic Mobile: https://m.google.com/app/plus/x/
However, the only unsupported combination that I found useful was using the Rich Mobile version in the Symbian^3 and WebOS browsers.