In less than 24 hours of its release, the official Google+ app for the iPhone has become the second-most popular free app on the App Store.
For the uninitiated, Google+ is the search giant’s answer to social networking behemoth Facebook. Currently in an invite-only beta, the service borrows the best, most widely used elements from its competitor and teams them with Google’s famed ‘less-is-more’ design nous.
Although an official Android app has been out for a while, enabling fandroids lucky enough to get in the beta to test-drive the service on the move, Apple had yet to give the iPhone version its blessing.
This raised suspicions amongst conspiracy nuts that Cupertino could block its release for some reason or another due to Google being Apple’s biggest competitor in the mobile space. That proved to be hogwash yesterday as the app finally became available to the App Store and at the time of writing was already the second most downloaded app on the free apps chart.
Features of the app include the ability to log-in using your Google account and view and manage circles, which are essentially customisable categories to organise your contacts/friends. There's also an update stream from your circles that functions just like the news feed on Facebook and Huddle, which is a group messaging feature that allows you to chat with multiple contacts in the same conversation.
Of course, you can comment on posts and ‘+1’ them too, which is the Google+ equivalent of Likes on Facebook. It’s all pretty much standard stuff right now, but is super easy to use one you wrap your head around it.
Google+ for iPhone is available to download right now for free from the App Store.