The G+ iOS app is quite well done, and the team very much deserves the accolades it's getting. It's really quite slick and I'm going to be digging into it for a while exploring all the neat interactions.
Just one gripe so far, and unfortunately it's along the longstanding "creepiness" error that Google seems to make far more often than others (e.g. with Latitude, Buzz). I know everyone inside Google assumes Google is benevolent in all things. Those of us outside Google typically assume Google is potentially chaotically/unconsciously malevolent despite best of intentions.
Creepy and uncool: Auto-uploading all
photos from my iPod just because I enabled Photo-access to the G+ app in my iOS privacy settings so I could post one
photo taken today
I don't care that you put it in a so-called "private" album. Not cool. Nothing about turning on a permission to post a current
photo should be inferred to mean "upload all past
photos". Frankly, I don't trust any social network to not have bugs and accidentally make things public.
Bad G+ iOS app. No more device photo-access for you. Trust, lost.
And time, wasted (with whack-a-mole clicking select-all then trash icon over and over again - like hello - where was the "undo" for Instant Upload of all my old photos?).
Google Buzz made a similar (but worse) error, when it automatically sent out massive numbers of invitations to high frequency Gmail contacts, just because you joined Buzz, and they might want to join too or something. That was worse clearly (as are all "auto-spam your contacts" features which have largely fallen out of favor as enough products have repeated that mistake and been publicly chided for it).
Design tip: any time you find yourself designing a feature that involves doing a mass-upload, mass-invitation, mass-computation, mass-anything to a user's old
data, be very very careful
. Certainly don't do it implicitly
just because the user turned some permission on so they could use the app for one thing right now
, or they signed-in just to try it out
. And certainly don't do it if you're a big company or have a history of such errors as Google does. Tread lightly and respectfully with users' data especially their pre-existing data.
No, seriously, I do like the app a lot in general.
Just thought I should share this as the emotional impact was fresh.
Hopefully this can be improved, like maybe only enable Instant-upload for future
photos taken/posted, and provide some feature to "import" old photos (with plenty of warning like: "About to upload 4000 photos from the past 2 years to a private album. Proceed?" And then of course have a stop/undo button :) Thanks for listening.
cc: +Matthew Levine +Chris Messina +Brynn Evans +Krista Sanders +Daniel Burka