Confirmed: Google+ iOS app is awaiting approval from Apple. “The Google+ iOS app has in fact been submitted to Apple for review some time ago. It is now stuck in review and waiting for approval,” Google technician Erica Joy has confirmed.
While Erica’s initial post related to the iPhone she clarified, that it’ll likely be a universal app, one that runs on the iPad and iPhone: “Sorry, even though I have an iPad and not an iPhone, I always call iOS apps “iPhone apps”. I’m sure its something to do with conditioning.”
Given all the curiosities surrounding Apple’s approval process, we don’t know when we’ll see the app available for download, but the speculation is that you’ll be managing your Circles on your iPhone and iPad within two weeks.
“We knew the iPhone app was coming soon, but we didn’t think the iOS app was already completed and submitted to Apple for approval. Based on previous experience with the approval process, we believe that the Google+ iOS app will debut sometime in the next two weeks,” writes Mashable’s Ben Parr.
Google+ has been available as an Android app since it launched for a very limited field trial earlier this week. It works pretty well in Mobile Safari but some features are limited or not exactly optimized for an iOS audience.
Google+ is something between Facebook and Twitter, allowing you to share messages, links, photos and videos with the world or with just a small group of friends, colleagues, people you knew when you were a child or whatever.
The key is that Google+ makes it incredibly simple to create “circles” and drag your contacts into the appropriate circles. Remembering to enter the circles you want to include every time you share a message is a little more complicated at this point.
Google+ project is launching into a competitive social networking market, where market leader Facebook has an estimated 700 million users worldwide. The new service is currently in a closed, invitation-only test mode.
Google+ still isn’t open to everyone yet — you need an invite to use the service, and Google has made it clear that it’s still in beta testing. After launching last week, Google+ has generated a surprising amount of buzz for a social service coming out of the search giant.
When Google+ invites were first opened up last week, the company had to put a squash to them due to “insane demand.” That’s certainly a good sign for Google, and it already seems clear that Plus will avoid the fate of company’s previous projects – Buzz and Wave.
Technology journalists who have tried it have praised some of the innovative features, including Circles, which allows users to drop their contacts into categories such as work or friends. A mobile version is already available for Android smartphones. Extending that experience to Apple products will be important, but not a deal-breaker, according to social media consultant Rax Lakhani.
“Mobile is essential to Google+. But if Apple does not approve the app straight away, there is still the web app,” said Rax Lakhani. “I think a lot of people, even on the iPhone, do not have the apps, even for Facebook and Twitter. The mobile web experience is just as good, if not better than the apps.”
Whatever, the search engine giant, though having huge financial resources, will have to climb an uphill task to make its social networking experiment a success, analysts say. “There’s no doubt this is going to be an uphill climb for Google,” says Brad Shimmin, a CurrentAnalysis analyst. “Google has been very good at responding to what consumers want in the market place. But Google does have a ways to go.” [via Mashable and BBC]