The official Google+ client for Android has just been updated to v2.1. While most of the updated features which the users got to see in the leaked version (2.0) of the app at the start of the previous month have been retained, there are quite a few other notable changes that the updated client brings with it; the most significant of them being the option to logout of the app – handy for users with multiple accounts. For those users who, for some reason, couldn’t take a peak at the leaked version of the app, the official update sports a totally revamped UI that resembles the looks of the latest Android OS variant, Ice Cream Sandwich. Other than that, almost every facet of the app has undergone a change of some sort; be it a new notifications panel, the Stream, Circles, Photos or Profile screen, the unexplained absence of the homescreen widget and even the Messenger title, which we believed could so possibly have been renamed yet again (this time to Chord) as it was in the leaked version.
So, what does the updated client actually add in terms of aesthetics and new features? An Android 4.0 style graphical interface, relocation of the notifications bar to the top-right corner of the homescreen and of the Posts, About and Photos tabs to the top of the Profile screen, improved Photo gallery with enlarged thumbnails and the option to switch between images in full-screen, improved Circles with profile pictures of all contacts displayed in thumbnails besides each and optimized battery consumption along with several bug fixes.
In addition, the app supports easy addition of new people/friends to a Circle. While within a Circle, just hit the Add People button at the bottom, pick your friends from the list and tap OK. Also, the client now allows logging in with Google Apps accounts as well.
Apart from the Messenger title, another feature that has (thankfully) been retained from the previous official version is the ability to share photos in Messenger by hitting the camera icon beside the message field – a feature that was, rather surprisingly, discarded in the leaked version.
However, there is one very major feature that has actually been omitted from the updated version. Apparently, the leaked version wasn’t missing a widget because it was incomplete; Google was actually aiming to remove the homescreen widget from the smartphone variant of the client. That’s right. No more widget.