15 minutes of Google hate: The new G+ for Android
Yesterday Google released a new version of Google Plus for Android during the ongoing Google IO Conference. This version fixes some UI shortcomings of the extremely bad 2.6 release, but it still has problems that make it awful to use.
The video below shows a Galaxy Nexus on Wifi behind a 50/10 MBit ADSL line, distance to hotspot < 5ft.
The application does not preload images, so while I am scrolling you can see blank color tiles that get filled with images only while I am already scrolling them off screen again (and I am going slow here, not the way I handle this app normally). On HSDPA this does not work at all, ever.
Articles are shown with very little text, and no comments are visible. So I have to actually tap an article to even find out what it is about. The article and comments are also not preloaded. Witness the latency when I am entering an article. This is incredibly annoying and needs urgent fixing:
- Preload articles and comments. Have a method to display unread comments inline (if only the last 2, as with 2.5, that would be fine).
- For non-photo articles (see below) show more text. Use a small font, or make the font size used selectable in the settings.
2. Weird idea of what constitutes a photo
If an article has any kind of image at all, Google treats it to the photo layout instead of the textual layout. That means: Almost no text is shown, and the image is scaled in order to fill a ridiculously large image tile.
It would be useful to have a third kind of layout, text-article-with-image.
Article get the photo-article treatment only if all of the following are true:
- the image is a JPG file.
- the image contains actual EXIF data, preferably even with a camera maker and model name in it
- the image has a minimum size so that it does not need to be scaled up
Articles that contain images that do not fulfill all three of these conditions get the text-article-with-image treatment.
Articles that contain no images get the text-article treatment.
These two fixes would bring the stream usability back to version 2.5 levels.