Google+ wished itself a Happy +1st birthday yesterday at Google I/O 2012. After announcing the project last year, Google+ finally has its own app, specifically for tablet devices. The most recent changes brought new swipe navigation to the Google+ Android and iOS apps.
Starting today, however, the tablet-specific version will be available to Android tablet owners in the Google Play store. Not forgotten, An iPad version was also demoed at I/O, but iPad users will need to wait a bit longer until they see it in the App Store.
Like its handset predecessor, Google+ for tablets integrates gestural navigation to make it easy to swipe through your Stream and other media. The Google+ tablet app also puts a lot of emphasis on full-screen media, especially video.
Google emphasizes that the tablet app isn't merely bigger – it's been designed for a rich tablet experience. The tablet experience includes smarter placement of content in your Stream based on its orientation. Naturally, most tablets have better quality screens than handsets, so the text and photos within the app are more clear and crisp.
Google+ – Now With Events
Another development announced with the Google+ tablet app is Google+ Events. On the surface, Google+ Events seem to be a carbon copy of Facebook events. However, Google takes it to the next level.
Google+ Events offer unique invitations with a graphical flair. Each event allows you to invite others, regardless if they are Google+ members or not. When you receive a Google+ Event invite, Gmail recognizes the event attachment and marks the attachment with a Google+ icon instead of the traditional paper clip icon.
The invites include professionally created templates with cinemagraphic animations. You can even include YouTube video greetings. This invitation gets sent to your invites who can easily acknowledge if they are going to attend. The event even automatically creates an entry in your Google Calendar.
But that's only the beginning. One the event starts, the Google+ Event page enters Party Mode, where you or any of your guests can take and share picutures of the event. They are uploaded to the event page where you can select to run a slideshow of all the images that have been uploaded while your event is still in progress.
Instead of asking for your friends to share their pictures after the event, the images become available to all attendees immediately in one central spot. Further, once you enable Party Mode on your phone or mobile device, all the new images will immediately go to your device in real-time.
250 Million People Registered for Google+
Is it too little too late for the fledgling, year-old social project? Apparently not. Over 250 million people are registered Google+ users, says Google. Of those people, 50 percent log in daily and use Google for an hour or more.
Do you still use Google Plus? If you've given up on Google+, will the tablet app or Google+ Events bring you back? Let us know below.