Google is expanding its suite of mobile apps for the Google+ social network. When the service first launched a few weeks ago the company only offered an Android app and a mobile web site. This week an iPhone app hit the iTunes App Store. And now it looks like we’ll see a Windows Phone 7 app next week.
The Google+ social network is still in private beta, which means you can’t start using the service without an invitation. But while invites were pretty scarce in the first few days, Google has been pretty liberal with the invitations recently and there are already millions of registered users.
There are a few key features that set Google+ apart from competitors including Facebook and Twitter. The first is an emphasis on “circles,” or easy to configure groups of contacts. You can create circles by dragging and dropping your contacts into groups using a desktop web browser and then choose which updates you want to share with the public and which you only want to share with specific groups. You can also choose to only view updates from members of groups you’ve created.
The mobile apps also offer a nifty group chat feature that lets you create a “huddle” and invite friends to send messages in real-time. Android users can also enable automatic uploading of photos from their camera roll. The iOS app doesn’t support automatic uploads, but it does allow you to manually send photos from your phone to Google+.
There’s no word on which features will be available in the Windows Phone 7 app, but the Google Plus team put out a list of updates coming next week, and the Windows Phone 7 app is on the agenda.