By now we’ve all heard that the App Store may or may not be intentionally delaying the approval of the official Google Plus App, which turns me and presumably hundreds of thousands of other iPhone and Google Plus users into little balls of internet rage. However, it’s the App Store, and there’s really not a thing any one of us can do about their approval process, short of waiting it out and hoping for the best.
So while we’re sitting around twiddling our thumbs, not being able to really use anything on Google Plus via the mobile app on Safari, we wait patiently. Alternatively, we fire up our desktops or laptops and use it normally, which I’m sure is what the great majority of us iPhone users have had to do. Personally, I use my laptop or desktop as little as possible. I bought an iPhone because I liked the fact that I could browse the web and use many services with it. Therein lies the rub—while the Google team have done a fantastic job of developing their mobile version of Google Plus, it lacks in some key features like being able to edit your profile, being able to manage albums, or even upload a photo to an album. The full desktop version of Google Plus on Safari in iOS4x is almost impossible to use to update your profile or…really use at all, as there are far too many UI issues with it to even bother to use it over the mobile version.
So that’s the bridge I’m hoping to help some people cross today (though I can’t help much with not being able to edit your profile). I’ve found a neat way to work around having absolutely no way to upload photos via mobile. It seems the Google Plus team figured it’d be a great idea to sync your Picasa albums automatically to your Google Plus albums. Great! It also just so happens, there are many already-approved iPhone apps available in the app store to manage and upload your photos to Picasa.
I was never a user of Picasa, so I had to create an account using my existing Google account, but that was really no big deal. The app I’m using in this example is “MyPics – Picasa Web Albums Manager”, and is available for $2.99. I assume there are other free apps that do the same thing, but this is the one that I got, so this is the one that I know how to work with!
It’s really quite easy. When you’re out on the go, and want to share a picture you just took, you just use MyPics to create a new album (or use an existing one), add a photo from your phone’s camera roll, and add it to the upload queue. When you’re done adding images to the upload queue, you can just simply tap the upload button in the app, and it will automatically add these photos to your Picasa albums, and thereby adding them to your Google Plus albums as well!
The app also allows you to add captions to photos quite easily, and manages to save all of the EXIF data along with each image. There is even a way to manage the image’s Google Plus privacy settings, however it is not as intuitive as Google Plus itself. Basically each image (or an entire album) can be set to public or private. There is no way to manage which circles can see it and which can’t, because obviously this is a Picasa album manager—but it just so happens that Google Plus automatically pulls these albums for you.
So there you have it, it’s all quite simple really, and right now it’s basically all we have available to us if we want to add photos to our Google Plus accounts while on the go. Now I will politely and patiently keep twiddling my thumbs waiting for Apple to stop being such meanies and approve the G+ app!