Categories: Mobile device feedback :

Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6)

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Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) Jennie S 5/24/12 6:45 AM
A new version of Google+ for Android is now available in Google Play.  Please have a look at this post for more information about the features and changes in this release.  Reply to this thread if you have feedback or encounter any ongoing issues with the new version.




Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) David Andrews 5/24/12 6:58 AM
I'd appreciate the option for smaller text size in the app. Everything is so BIG now due to the larger font size used.

This may not be a problem for those on whiz-bang super duper phones with larger screens. But for those with more modest phones, everything just feels crammed together and not quite so professional looking now.

Therefore, an option for a smaller font size would be appreciated.

Also, the "Send Feedback" option in the app doesn't work. If first complains about my language choice (en-GB) which to be fair, is a problem across the board with Google's help system (seriously, how hard would it be to redirect to the enUS version of a help page if there is no localised version available), then after switching to enUS, the page asks for email, satisfaction, subject but doesn't actually let you type any feedback in.
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) David Andrews 5/24/12 7:06 AM
Furthermore, multiple versions, updates and upgrades on, images are STILL being force cropped to a square aspect ratio on my Wildfire S regardless of the actual dimensions of the image.

Since the new update is so image centric, this seems like such a farce.
Lovro 5/24/12 7:20 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) Jennie S 5/24/12 8:29 AM
Hi David - Thanks for your reports.

1 - Are you saying that the feedback page isn't loading? Keep in mind that there are two steps to the Feedback form.  Please continue to the next step to finish submitting feedback.  Let me know if you're still running into an issue and I'll try to investigate on this end.

2 - Can you clarify exactly how the images look in the latest version of the app? Do you see full-bleed images in the stream? Or are you saying they still appear as cropped squares? 

Thanks,
Jennie
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) David Andrews 5/24/12 8:44 AM
Issue 1, this is what I'm seeing (text descriptions will have to do as I don't know how to take screenshots)

  1. Start G+ app
  2. Go to all Circles
  3. Menu button > Send Feedback
  4. Browser opens up with "Google+ Help" page:
    1. "Thank you for your interest. If you would like to contact us, you will need to do so in one of the languages below. We are unable to provide email support in your language at this time"
    2. Big long list of languages, I click on English (US)
  5. Loads up Share Google+ Feedback
    1. Enter Email
    2. Select Satisfaction level (Slightly Satisfied in this case)
    3. Select feedback option
    4. The only thing left on this page is "Submit" which I click
  6. Browser loads up page saying "Thank you for helping us improve Google+" There is nothing else on this page
Issue 2

  1. Go to "All Circles" and find a post with an image attached (A Google one about the new app update) The image in the stream is wide and short
  2. Click on post (same image in post as in stream which is low res BTW)
  3. Click on image in post
  4. Image is the same resolution but is square (not distorted cropped). The image in question is a screenshot of the new app so it should be portrait aspect
  5. If I click download and go to my Gallery App, the image appears in full.
I get the same problem with images if I go into Photos and select any album image. FWIW, I'm looking at one right now and the "cover image" of the album is wide and short portrait and is the full-width (but not height) of the image. When I click onto the image, I get a square version that is full height, but not full width.

Does that make things clearer?
  1. Click on Post
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) Jennie S 5/24/12 9:19 AM
Hi David,

Thank you for clarifying. 

Issue 1 - We're now aware of the issue and are working on a fix for the feedback form. Please stay tuned.

Issue 2 - Thanks for the report.  We'll investigate this on our end.  Do you know if this is happening will all photos?  For example, does it happen with photos that are attached to a post (e.g. albums) or does this seem to happen with photos from link snippets?
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) David Andrews 5/24/12 9:29 AM
Let me check

If by photo's from link snippets, you mean images on a webpage that's been shared in a post (the webpage link, not the image) then it doesn't appear to happen to them. Although the image shown is very low res and pixellated.
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) Jennie S 5/24/12 9:34 AM
You're correct - I mean images on a webpage that have been shared with a post. 

Thanks again for the feedback about the new UI.  I will bring this to the attention of the team.


Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) Jennie S 5/24/12 10:15 AM
Hi David - The feedback form has been fixed. Please feel free to use it to submit additional feedback about the new version of the app. 
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) alexs77 5/24/12 12:10 PM
I've got to say, I very much dislike the new layout. iPhone users warned us and you, but now you're forcing the bad new design also upon us android users…

What annoys me very much, is how extremely excessive image-centric the new layout is, especially in the stream overview. It distracts the eye and it thus takes longer to see information (especially, if the image is white - white text on white background - what have you been smoking?). Additionally, every one post seems to be way to big.
Also in a post, text seems *WAY* too big. 

About improvements: Where? Hangouts? I couldn't care less. What else?

Overall: Yes, it *looks* nicer. But is a lot less functional - because it looks nicer… Step in the wrong direction.
Is there a way to download the old APK? :(
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) Jennie S 5/24/12 12:54 PM
Hi alexs77,

Thanks for your comments.  The team is constantly iterating based on feedback, so I'll be sure to pass along your experience with the new UI.  Which device are you using?  Are you browsing primarily on WiFi or on a data network?

As for what else is in the 2.6 release:
- Ability to edit posts
- Download images from posts and Messenger
- Start a hangout that can be joined on a computer or mobile device
- Support for ringing hangout notifications
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) minicht 5/24/12 5:31 PM
The 2.6 update does not work well on the HTC Sensation.  All photos and posts are stretched to the width of the screen, distorting the images and making the user experience much less enjoyable than before.  The lack of an obvious visual break between posts vertically makes reading posts difficult.  The fade-in as the stream is scrolled is gimmicky and ineffective.  I would definitely appreciate a way to revert to the older, more user friendly interface.
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) Dmtry Lakhno 5/24/12 8:59 PM

When image in post contains text it looks like this:  

Unreadable and not beautiful at all.
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) GlenB 5/24/12 9:31 PM

I must agree, I am extremely disappointed with the look and feel of the new update.

The new version (a) makes the photos in the streams far too big (b) puts them on a black background but (c) puts the WHITE text on TOP of the photos! This means that, for more than half of the photo-included posts in the stream, the text is unreadable!



I'm glad you fixed your comment page, and I'm glad you fixed the fact that only three hours of updates could be reviewed in the mobile App... but now I can't really see or read ANY of these posts with photos in them, and the layout is so poorly-designed that it's painful to look at!

If you guys are really married to this new look and feel, I fear you will lose many users.  At a minimum, give us some skinning options!  Position the text -below- or -above- the picture - not on top of it!  Let us choose a white background instead of black.  Make the photos appear a little bit smaller on large tablets.

I've tried to be supportive of Google+, I've tried to get my friends to come here from #facebook , but now I won't even be able to read their posts, as you can see from the example photo!  I'm so saddened by this that I can't even express it!

Please consider reverting to the 2.5 look, or at least giving us some control over the appearance of our streams!



Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) alexs77 5/24/12 11:03 PM
I normally use the app when I'm on a data network. I've got a Galaxy Nexus.

"what else is in 2.6":
  • Ability to edit posts - didn't miss this. I was fine with doing that online on a pc.
  • Download images from posts - didn't miss that either
  • Hangouts - I never use them and never will
So, where are the good points of the update? Oh, I know one - I can now click on #hashtags. Big deal. This minor functional improvement doesn't outweigh the huge drawbacks, the new layout imposes on us.

Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) Rob 5/25/12 9:54 AM
Generally, I've been a fan of every UI change Google has been making over the past year or so, but I am not a fan of this change. Hate the text superimposed over pictures. It makes the stream harder to read. There needs to be clearer differentiation between posts, they tend to just blend together (depending on what image is used as the background). I keep seeing mention of a "fade-in" effect when scrolling through the stream, but that does not happen on my phone (EVO 4G). Does that only happen on certain devices? Showing only a small snippet of each post on the main stream screen means you have to click on every post to see what it's actually about and to see comments. Very annoying and less useable.
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) GlenB 5/25/12 10:43 AM
Rob -

I agree.  The fade-in effect you refer to is barely noticeable on a phone.  On a tablet, it's disastrous.  It's not a "fade-in" so much as a "reverse-zoom-in" effect.  The post scrolls into view large, and then grows smaller before "settling" into place.  The net effect is of being suspended inside a large hamster wheel, trying to focus, while the wheel rotates backwards.  It is the most difficult maneuver for the human eye and human brain to accomplish - and now our eyes and brains are being asked to do this on every post... while dealing with reading unreadable text... posted right on top of huge oversize photos... the size of which makes the overall effect much more pronounced and difficult to deal with.

I don't mean to be rude, but, honestly, does anyone quality-control or quality-check these changes before they're released?  This smacks of "boys and toys" - a team of engineers who said, "look at this cool effect I thought up!" without actually *looking* at it and realizing how difficult it will be on actual users.  Effects like these have been possible in broadcast television and movie production for decades... but you never see these kinds of reverse-zoom-wipes, or extreme closeups (large pictures) ... and you NEVER see text superimposed directly on a picture!  Why?  People don't LIKE it - it's bad for ratings.  To quote Chris Rock, "Just because you can do a thing, doesn't mean it's to be done!"

Google and many of its loyal followers - of which I am one! - might be oohing and aahing over their "new flashy interface," but the reality is that the flash is too bright - so bright, in fact, that it's pointless.  This was a bad collection of choices.  We don't need scroll effects.  We don't need huge pictures... not THAT huge anyway!  And we *can't READ* text that is positioned right over a photo.  It's bad enough on a phone - on my Galaxy Tab 10.1, it looks terrible - and is unviewable!  We don't need this app to be flashy, we need it to be useful!  Black, crisp, sharp text on a clean white background, smooth fixed-scale scrolling, reasonably-sized photos were all present in 2.5.  Removing them, changing them, making these choices will have but one result:  People will stop using the mobile apps because it is physiologically uncomfortable to do so... and they will go back to Facebook, where the text is easier to read.

At a bare minimum, as I said before, make the new look a selectable theme, yeah?  How difficult could that be?  Let us choose whether we want all these graphic effects, or whether we want something more functional.  I can't use the 2.6 release.  I'm wasting tons of time trying to find someone with a 2.5 apk I can load.  Eventually, I'll fall behind on G+, and end up back on Facebook.  Google - please - PLEASE - hear what we are saying and fix this soon!

Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) NiveusLuna 5/25/12 12:25 PM
The new interface, to me, is just terrible all around. You ask me about something in particular, it's probably worse than in the 2.5 version.

I've found a 2.5 APK, but I'm not sure it's entirely safe to load. https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B756Qtgm7pcdSk8wWFc4MHltRmc
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) GlenB 5/26/12 9:22 AM
Dear NiveusLuna -

Thank you so much for that APK!  I installed it, and it is so nice to be back to a readable interface!

Sad that I won't be able to get updates anymore, and sad that Google+ will probably change the API over time, rendering this useless.

I don't see how people will stay with Google+ when they can't even read the posts on their mobile anymore!
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) GlenB 5/26/12 9:24 AM
Dear Jennie S -

Are you still with us?  There's been a lot more discussion about the drawbacks of the new user interface.... but we haven't heard anymore from you.  Is there any communication from the team on this feedback?  Speaking only for myself, I really need to know if Google+ is going to fix the UI issues we've raised or not.  I'd really prefer to use Google+ over Facebook, but if Google+ is turning itself into more of a Flickr-type site, then it really won't meet the needs of the social networkers out there.
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) noel 5/26/12 1:13 PM
Like others have said please either revert the latest photo centric UI theme or provide an option to use the prior clean look for people who are more interested in actually reading text instead of being overwhelmed by pictures. The new theme is absolutely horrid on a tablet in landscape mode and pretty bad even on my phone. Why on earth would I want to see a stretched picture with text pasted on it? The picture is not the focus, the text is!
G+ went from the classic clean Google look to a photo sharing site overnight. If my reaction to this is any indication of how many of your userbase feels, you will lose a lot of people who simply don't have the time to waste scrolling through pointless pictures.
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) minicht 5/27/12 6:39 PM
The 2.6 update to Google+ has made the application worthless to me.  The problems that I have encountered are mentioned by other posters here, but they include - photos stretching unnaturally to the width of the screen; white text being placed on top of photos; only portions of photos displaying; poor vertical separation between posts.  The whole point of the stream is to view many different posts easily.  Because of the way photos are treated in 2.6, I would be forced to open each post individually to see the photo as the poster intended it to be seen.  Obviously this isn't efficient, and I won't do that.
I liked the 2.5 version of Google+; the 2.6 version is definitely not a keeper for me.  Even Facebook looks better than this, which says a lot.
Please fix the application!
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) DDL 5/27/12 9:30 PM
I agree with other posters.  The latest app redesign has made it unreadable much of the time.  I searched fruitlessly for an option to switch off background images.  Is Google emulating MySpace?  (I await auto-playing music next!)
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) traviss 5/29/12 7:32 AM
I agree as well. the new update is very hard on the eyes. Half of the time the text overlaid on the images is not very legible. It's also laggy when loading and scrolling on the Galaxy Nexus over 4g or wifi. I've resorted to using the mobile view of G+ via the browser instead of using the app. You fixed it until it was broken IMO. 




Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) Jennie S 5/29/12 8:11 AM
Thanks to everyone for letting us know your thoughts about the new update.  Your concerns about the new changes have passed along to the team.

As always, we are constantly iterating on the experience, so please keep the feedback coming.

For anyone experiencing photo stretching issues:
  • Are these photos from a link snippet (generated when a link is attached to a post) or are they photos in an album?
  • If you tap on the photo twice so it's full screen, does it have the correct aspect ratio?
  • If you try clearing your application data, do you notice an improvement to these photos?  (Go to Settings > Apps > Google+ > Clear data to do so. Keep in mind that this may reset your application settings.)
Lastly, if you have the latest version of the app on your phone, please try updating to 2.6.1.30454518, which was released on Friday with some bug fixes and performance improvements.
(unknown) 5/29/12 7:07 PM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) GlenB 5/29/12 8:40 PM
Hi Jennie -

Thank you for your presence and acknowledgement.

Per your request I've tried the 2.6.1 release of Google+.  This release did not resolve any of the problems I'm experiencing:

1. White text positioned within the pictures makes text impossible to read.
2. Photos appear extremely large.
3. No spacing between photos and entries makes display very busy.
4. Black background makes photos more difficult to view.
5. Over-emphasized reverse-zoom-scroll effect when scrolling through posts in streams.

The photo attached is a picture I took of the screen of my Galaxy Tab 10.1 classic running Honeycomb 3.2.  It highlights the problems mentioned in items 1-4 above.  The photo is in landscape mode.  In portrait mode, the photos stretch across the entire width of the screen.  As you can see, the text is unreadable given the content of the photo.

As many people have here, I recommend the following:

1. Return to white background and black text.
2. Position text just above the photo, the photo just below the text, no superimposition.
3. Increase the spacing between entries.
4. Reduce the size of the photos in the stream.
5. Return scrolling to smooth scrolling, do not "fade in" new posts, and do not "zoom out" new posts as they appear.

People I've discussed this with outside of this forum post have made additional suggestions, such as:

1. Making the new layout a selectable theme, offering the 2.5 style as another selection.  This would vastly improve useability and readability for those of us who need to use Google+ to do our work, while still allowing Google and others to "show off" the new theme when desired.

2. Add, as a third option, a "text-only" mode.  In today's world of limited- and throttled- data, this would allow mobile users on 3G/4G plans to engage more without forcing them to use their data allowances downloaded pics.

We get that Google wants Google+ to be cutting edge and flashy.  As you can see by the many comments here, that has been accomplished at the cost of app usability.  If we can't *use* it, what hope do we have that people will migrate to it.  Flashiness might be interesting and exciting, but it won't *keep* people here.  It's hard on the eyes, and will, eventually, drive people away.

In contrast, making this a selectable theme, restoring the old look-and-feel as another selectable theme, and, maybe, adding a text-only selectable theme as well, will make EVERYONE happy (I assume!) and will let Google meet its excitement goals, whilst not driving away existing users.

We look forward to future iterations... but, for me, I'm back on 2.5 for now.  I simply cannot use the 2.6.* versions released thus far.

Thanks!
Glen


Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) Jennie S 5/31/12 10:32 AM
Thanks again, Glen (and everyone else) for your detailed feedback and recommendations. 
(unknown) 6/3/12 11:10 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) Baldeagle 6/8/12 2:41 PM
Jennie.. sorry not to be excited by this but more interested in how to remove google + from my galaxy Nexus. How did it get there? Why does it use 26 MB of data yet I know of no use fo r it or any inclination to use it but there it goes using all my data. Google + and Dictoinary another app i dont use but seems to chew up data. Fortunately it had a uninstall feature. Why does Google+ not hav ethis feature too. Help I want it off my phone. Life is too short to be obseesed with circles or whatever that is !!!
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) Jennie S 6/8/12 3:49 PM
Hi Baldeagle,

Like Gmail and Google Maps, Google+ comes preinstalled on phones running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and above.  While you can't uninstall these applications, you can disable them to prevent them from running.  To do this, go to Settings > Apps > All > Google+ > Disable.  Note: You may have to select Uninstall updates if you downloaded a newer version of the app from Google Play.   Learn more about optimizing your memory usage on your Galaxy Nexus.

On earlier versions of Google+ (prior to version 2.6) on Android 4.0 and above, data used to sync your photos from Picasa to the Gallery app would be attributed to Google+.  This is because Google+ and Gallery shared the same sync setting ("Sync Google Photos") in versions prior to 2.6.  If you had any photos stored in Picasa when you synced your photos down to the Gallery app, then this is most likely why you're seeing that data attributed to Google+.  You can restrict the Gallery app to Wi-Fi only by selecting Sync on Wi-Fi only in the Gallery app Settings.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Jennie
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) tzic 6/11/12 10:42 PM
Hello

I just updated Google+ to the latest version and I have to say that I am not pleased at all. Although I use Google+ 90% for photography this icon centric way of showing the posts - as other users mentioned - is terrible! Huge fonts, irrelevant backgrounds etc make Google+ for mobile practically unusable for me. Is there a way to revert back to the old simple, typical Google view?

Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) alexs77 6/11/12 11:26 PM
tzic

to go back to the old, usable version of Google+, check out this post by Kristian Köhntopp: https://plus.google.com/117024231055768477646/posts/EUCUituZxs3

Basically, you just need to install the 2.5.0.x version of the APK. See attached (or post or https://www.box.com/s/cb51970206ab2ba5d122).

Another thing which annoys me, and actually was the final issue which made me downgrade, is that the crappy 2.6.x is *WAY* to "data hungry". Not everyone has a "flatrate" with unlimited data.

Google+ Support team,
after having re-installed the usable version of the Google+ app, Android annoys me in the Play Store, that there's an update available. For obvious reasons, I don't want to install it. I already disabled "automatic updates" for this app. How do I make it, that the Play Store no longer shows me the update? I tried Titanium Backup, where there's the option to "seperate" an app from the market. That wasn't enough.

How to do it properly, so that the update no longer shows up (and thus makes the "update all" option useless)?

Thanks,
Alexander
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) tzic 6/12/12 2:56 AM
thank you for the reply Alexs77. Lets hope that g developers will fix this soon...
@SEXYLadiesFB 6/24/12 9:39 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) GlenB 7/1/12 1:01 PM
Dear Jennie -

I just wanted to reply and send my thanks to you for listening to our comments.  You obviously DID listen, you obviously DID pass our comments on, and although it's impossible to please everyone, I think I can safely say that 3.0 is a huge improvement, and I am convinced that your engagement and participation on this thread played a huge role in the ongoing improvement of this app.  I tried to thank you in my post on Google+, but couldn't find/link to you there, so I wanted to make sure that I came back here and said THANK YOU for taking such good care of the Google+ for Android community!  Thanks to you, I feel comfortable and able to use Google+ again - it is very good to be back!

THANK YOU!
Glen
https://plus.google.com/109252227851899922208
Re: Try out the new version of Google+ for Android (2.6) alexs77 7/3/12 6:57 AM
I absolutely have to agree to Glen711. The 3.0 version of the Google+ App is very nice. Not so overly colourful as 2.6. I like it very much!

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