I just spent most of the day testing the new Google+ social network service, and its Android app and mobile web app — and writing a review for CNN.com about the mobile experience. Generally, I liked what I saw, despite some glitches. This offering is still really, really beta — but it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Clearly Google+ is going head-to-head against Facebook, and I think it has a decent chance of winning in the long run, especially if it includes good mobile integration of core Google services like calendar, Gmail, and docs.
But what about Facebook?…
I’ve praised Facebook in the past for not forgetting that most of the world, including most people here in the US, do not use smartphones. They have a very lean mobile web app, and they also bought Snaptu (a leading purveyor of feature phone apps).
But then, Google makes Android, and some good lower-cost Android phones are starting to hit the market. Also, I tried out the Google+ web app using Opera Mini, the browser that Qualcomm says will come standard with all feature phones using its BrewMP platform (which in the US is most feature phones) sometime in the coming month. That web app ran just fine on Opera Mini — which means lots of feature phone users would be able to make good use of Google+
So what, then, does Facebook do? On Google+, my media colleague Lynne d Johnson just found out Facebook is launching their own branded phone the HTC Status — complete with a physical Facebook button, and other integration. It’ll be coming out on AT&T. AND it’s an Android phone
Curiouser and curiouser….