Google+ on iOS devices

This article is about using the Google+ app for Apple’s iOS devices.
There are some features and settings which are not available on mobile devices that means you have to control them via your web browser.
It’s recommended to use Google’s Chrome browser for iOS to do this.

The app fulfills

Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines

as it offers a plain design with self-explaining controls. It’s fully equipped for daily use.

I use Google+ for iOS on the iPad and the iPhone since months nearly without any support of the web-based version on a PC or Mac.


Getting started …

Go to Google Account Settings. Set Profile and Privacy as well as Google+ settings.
All this should be done by using Google Chrome browser to avoid any warnings regarding other browsers. If you don’t use a PC or Mac download Google Chrome for iOS from Apple’s App Store.
The main reason for using the browser is that many settings can’t be done within G+ for iOS.

Unfortunately this is a discrepancy between the usage of PCs and Tablets we have to live with (hopefully not for some more years).

The main features …

This mind map shows all features of G+ as of 2013-05-01.


If you already use a mind mapping app you may download this map from (The mind map library) Group ‘Apple’

or download it here from my Dropbox account:

Application File format
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP

Sharing content …

If you open the Home or the Communities screen you will see the sharing controls Photo, Check in, Link, and Write.

  • Photo
    Select one or more photos from the camera roll or take a photo.
    Access to Apple’s Photostream or self-created albums is not available.

    Here are the steps to transfer a photo from any photo stream to the camera roll:
    Tap on Edit, mark the photo, tap on Share, and within the upcoming sharing dialog tap on ‘Save to Camera Roll’.

    If you selected a community pick a category and optionally add text and location.
    For photos there are some basic editing features available as there are Rotate, Crop, Filter (select a color effect).
    Adding your current location requires enabling location services for the Google+ app under Settings – Privacy – Location Services.

  • Check in
    Select a location and optionally add text and photos to share.
  • Link
    Enter a link, possibly via clipboard, and optionally add text and location to share.
    After entering a link G+ tries to extract an image from the website.
    An integrated browser access is not available so you possibly have to move over to your browser and after taking the link into the clipboard return to G+.
  • Write
    Enter text and optionally add photos, location, and a link.
    Formatting is not available.

Google+ sharing on WordPress …

If you see the Google+ sharing widget on a website tap to share content with your connections.


The shared post appears on your Google+ Home screen and on your Profile screen.
By default shared content does not appear in joined communities except you selected communities in the sharing dialog.

If you are engaged in a community you can share all public posts appearing in your profile with one and only one community.

Some more facts …

  • Private Communities
    If a community is declared as private posts are only shown to members of this community.
    If it’s public posts are shown to everyone.
  • Community names
    Community names are not unique what, I think, is nerve-racking.

    Quoting John Skeats with his reply to my question:
    Google does not want it to become first come, first served, in which case (among other problems), brands could get locked out of using their own names.

  • E-Mail notifications
    At the time (May 2013) there is no way to get notifications but no E-Mails for community posts. All others can be controlled in G+ Settings.
  • Joining a community
    It is recommended to join a community not by the number of members but by content. Even in small communities highly interesting posts can be presented. And why not support a community by own posts with high quality. You and others determine which direction G+ will take in the near future. By posting quality the quality of G+ can go along with the quantity of it’s members. Prevent that G+ goes the way of Facebook.
  • Posts on your Profile screen

    While in communities:
    Click the gear icon
    Select Settings
    Scroll to ‘Show your Google+ communities on your G+ profile
    Choose either on or off

  • Posting to a public community
    The posts you share to a public community will not show up in your friends and followers Home screen, unless your friends and followers are also members of the same community.
    Your public community posts will be visible to people who navigate to your profile page unless you have set your settings for them not to appear. Visitors will see text or an icon indicating that it was shared to a community.
    Your private community posts will only be visible to people in those communities, regardless of whether or not you show community posts on your profile.

Notifications …

An important point is the behavior of the notification system of a social network.

Are their settings to prevent a massive daily bit radiation?
Is the notification system intrusive because of missing options?

Special settings for notifications by E-Mail are not available which is a great disadvantage.
If you use Apple’s notification center you don’t want to get an additional E-Mail.
Reliable developers are constantly working on improvements of apps and so I hope that this issue will be settled by Google soon.

Here are the available settings.


The notification Counter (red rectangle) with a drop down menu shows the number of new posts in communities you subscribed to, new comments, and your +1’d posts or comments. The drop down menu can be used as a navigator, is automatically updated, or can be updated manually by swiping down.

The notification counter is synced across all mobile and stationary devices.

Other settings …

Circles and new connections can be fully controlled by your mobile device.
If you read an interesting post and want to add the author to your connections or circles just tap on the avatar and then on Add to Circles or Add to Connections.


Summary …

Google+ comes along with a perfect UI and all features you need for sharing from mobile devices.
What should be improved is the Search functionality. At the time there are no options to limit search results to communities or circles.

Related links …

Google+ FAQs

Thanks for dropping by.