Google has gotten a lot of attention for their Google+ social network, which is basically “like Facebook but not Facebook” according to XKCD. The iOS app is now out, and Google seems to have aimed to set a new record for the biggest app fail in quite a while.
You see, they not only did the exact same thing as Facebook and made an app that’s designed for iPhones and doesn’t scale on iPads, but they somehow managed to mess it up so badly that it only runs on iPhones. No iPod touch and no iPad – so forget about getting the app to even install. The reason why is unclear, but it might have something to do with GPS or 3G as all iPhones have that but not all iPads and none of the iPod touches. Why they need it is another matter – it certainly doesn’t look good when you’re aiming to compete with the market leader (Facebook) and not only makes the same msitakes that Facebook has gotten heat for but actually manage to make it worse.
As if the compatibility issue wasn’t bad enough, it appears that the world’s biggest search engine company doesn’t know that “+” is a modifier in search features. By releasing the app as “Google+” instead of e.g. “Google Plus”, they have made it impossible to search for the app in the app store. I kid you not, you actually cannot find the app by searching for its name.
I like most of Google’s products myself and I basically wiped my Facebook page clean the day I got on Google+, but things like this makes me wonder if I should go back. It certainly is one of the most pathetic app releases I can remember, partly because a company as big as Google is behind it. Hopefully they’ll get their act together and not only make it run on iPads but also make it iPad optimized pretty soon.