The tech blogosphere has been abuzz for the past several days about a new social offering from Google called Google+. If you haven't been keeping up, there's an excellent write-up about it on our sister site, Pocketables.
And while most bloggers are debating how this might affect other social networks, as well as the sometimes uncanny resemblance to Facebook, I'd like to focus instead on what I think is, so far, an underappreciated aspect of the service: namely, the ability to automatically, instantly upload photos and videos directly from your HTC EVO 4G or EVO 3D to the cloud, right after you're done taking the picture or video, with no storage limits.
This even includes the ability to upload the highest quality HD video that your EVO can record, as long as the video is under 15 minutes in length.
Before I joined G&E, I wrote a guest post explaining how an app called Picasa Tool nicely bridged a gap that HTC had created on the original EVO 4G when they decided to take out native Picasa integration. And while HTC now includes the ability to view Picasa Web Albums in the native gallery app on the EVO 3D, uploading pictures and videos to Picasa is still a little clunky and cumbersome. Additionally, users are restricted by Picasa's paltry 1 GB storage limit (unless you resize your photos to a smaller size before uploading them).
While I'm still not sure whether Google+ will be able to draw the multitudes of users from Facebook and Twitter that some bloggers are predicting, I think it's extremely useful as a cloud-based backup tool for all the photos and videos I've been taking with my new EVO 3D.
I love that I can upload photos and videos in their original formats without having to worry about resizing them or hitting my storage limits (although Google will automatically resize anything over 2,048 pixels). I love that I can access them from the web or from my phone, and that all uploads are automatically private unless I specifically choose to share them with someone on Google+. And I love that Google+ is backwards compatible with Picasa Web Albums, so all those photos I spent hours uploading and tagging transfer over painlessly to the new service.
On the HTC EVO 4G, this eliminates the need for an app like Picasa Tool, and on the EVO 3D, it handles pictures in the cloud more smoothly than the stock gallery app. Just keep in mind that 3D pictures are not yet supported in Google+, and 3D videos will be uploaded as two side-by-side 2D frames.
If you are one of the lucky few who has already received an invitation to Google+, I encourage you to head over to the Android Market and download the mobile app. While this is still very much a beta service, and the app is in active development, it already shows a lot of promise and it seems that Google is very dedicated to making this newest offering the best that it can be.