Am I the only one seeing this? Major differences between version 1 and 2 of the G+ app for Android (and not in a good way)

November 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

First of all, I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. I understand that this product is free, and as with all free Google products, I think they’ve done a fantastic job with it.

But (and there’s always a but, isn’t there?) I have some serious issues with the “update” from version 1 of the G+ app for Android to version 2. I’m posting here in the hopes that someone from Google will finally take notice, since I’ve submitted feedback on Google Plus, posted questions on both Google Plus and Twitter, and received exactly zero feedback.

So, short synopsis of what brought me to this point:

I updated my Google Plus app when version 2 came out.  Besides the design changes, I also noticed some differences in the wording on the instant upload settings. Nothing major, so I didn’t pay any attention to it.

Last week, I shot a bunch of photos with the Retro Cam app, a few with the regular camera app, as well as some video, at a Friday night football game. I noticed that the the pictures I took with Retro Cam and the video didn’t upload, but the photos I took with the regular camera did.

The next morning, I tried the “upload all” option in the settings (which is another thing I don’t like about the new version of the app, but I’ll get to that in a moment), and when I looked at my photos, there still weren’t any of the Retro Cam pictures or any of the video I’d shot.

Last night, I decided to try a little experiment, and compare the previous version of the app with the current version. I found the .apk for version 1 of the Google Plus app online. I uninstalled the current version from my phone, downloaded version 1 and loaded it onto my phone. The very first thing I noticed was a HUGE size difference.

Version 1 Version 2

I would assume this has something to do with being able to do mobile hangouts with the new version, but since I have a Nexus One without a front-facing camera, I don’t have that option, so this size difference alone is enough to make me want to stay with version 1.

Here’s the next thing that’s hugely different – the wording on Instant Upload has changed from “photos & video” to just “photos”:

Version 1 Version 2

Now, I get the changes in the wording on the options…the “Upload…when roaming on data network” is a little confusing…do I check the box if I want to upload on roaming, or not? But excluding the word “videos” combined with my issues makes me think they discontinued video uploading, yet in places in the online help, videos are still referenced, for example, at the bottom of this page:

And then there’s this page about Instant Upload settings:

So…what is it, Google? Only photos? Or photos and video?

And this option flat out doesn’t exist in version 2 – it only mentions photos via mobile or via wifi:

And when it comes to uploading the photos you’ve taken that haven’t been uploaded yet, version 2 is very misleading. In version 1, you would press “upload existing photos” and it told you it was scanning for photos:

Then it told you how many files it found that hadn’t been uploaded yet and what the status was on uploading  them:

Version 2 throws a warning at you telling you that it could take a long time:

Then it looks like it’s upload ALL of your photos, rather than just the ones that haven’t been uploaded yet (it isn’t).

The first time I did I, I actually canceled it because I was afraid it would take forever. So Google fixes the confusing wording on some menus, but makes the upload all misleading about what it’s actually doing. Nice going.

Now, as to what it actually uploads.

When I reloaded the old version of the app and did the “upload existing” option…those 16 photos it’s showing? Those are the videos I’d shot and photos I’d taken with Retro Camera a few days earlier that HADN’T been uploaded with the new version of the app:

You can see in my Instant Upload gallery, when the pictures are left alone (sorted by when they were uploaded), the ones I took at the game with the stock camera were uploaded that night. The photos in between those and the Retro Camera ones and the videos I shot Friday night are photos I’d taken at other points over the course of the week.

So, the question is, why would version 1 of the app upload photos taken with Retro Camera, as well as videos, but the NEW version wouldn’t? It seems to me like features have been REDUCED in the new version.

Just to make sure, I shot a couple of pictures with FX Camera and Retro Camera, as well as the stock camera (since I knew it would be uploaded anyway, I wanted to see if it was something with Retro Camera, or it was all third party cameras). All photos taken uploaded instantly with version 1 of the app, as did a short video I shot.

I uninstalled version 1, and reinstalled the current version. I took another photo with FX Camera, and shot another video. Then I uninstalled the current version again and reinstalled version 1. I did not hit “upload existing” and instead just shot one more video so I could show the discrepancy in the gallery:


And looking at the comments on the app page in the Google market, it looks like I’m not the only one seeing this discrepancy.

So for now, I’m sticking with the earlier version until they get all the kinks worked out. But, come on, Google…at least acknowledge that you’ve changed stuff!


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