The next wave of Google+ activity looks set to take off now that Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has approved an iPhone application for Google’s new social network, allowing people to use the service almost anywhere. Google (NSDQ: GOOG) launched the service with only an Android application, but after a three-week evaluation period the iPhone version is now available in the App Store.
Google’s Vic Gundotra, the senior executive leading the Google+ project, announced the news on (where else) Google+, saying the app should be rolling out over the course of the morning and therefore may take some time to reach your corner of the Internet. It was a bit surprising that Google didn’t coordinate the launch of Google+ as to make sure it could launch with an approved iPhone app, given the likelihood that a significant portion of the early adopters currently field-testing Google+ are iPhone users, but Apple’s App Store approval process can be a bit of a black box.
Google+ iPhone users won’t be able to launch Hangouts–the group video-chat feature–on their iPhones but they will be able to use Huddle, the group-messaging service, Google said in the description for the app posted on the App Store. Hangouts aren’t supported on the Android version of the app either. It’s not clear whether or not iPhone users will be able to upload photos, a feature listed on the description for the Google+ Android app but not listed in the App Store description.
The app can be found here. Google said last week that 10 million people are using Google+ and that so far they have shared over 1 billion items. That latter number is sure to go up now that mobile access has been improved for a significant portion of users.
Updated 12:30 p.m. PT: Unfortunately for Google, it seems to have gotten off on the wrong foot in the App Store. “When we launched, the App Store started serving a previous test version of the App which didn’t have the stability and fixes that the latest version had,” wrote Google’s Punit Soni, lead product manager for Google+ Mobile, on his Google+ account. “It started serving the correct version a little later. If you downloaded within the first 1 hour 40 mins, you may have downloaded the older test version.” So if you’re having problems with the app, you may want to try again.