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+Damien Walker

Monday, August 15, 2011

Google Plus iPhone app - Privacy fail

Google recently released an update for their Google Plus iPhone app and, while there are a couple of worthwhile new features, one or two problems make this update a huge fail.

Perhaps my biggest gripe about the previous release was the inability to + a user in posts and comments. This has been addressed in the new release.

To + a user simply hit the "+" key just as you do in a regular browser and start typing their name.

This really is a must have feature in this app and so far so good. But wait, there's a problem.... I have 6 guys named Daniel in my circles but when I start searching for Daniel only 4 appear in the dropdown list. Not good enough but I just need to type the full name of the Daniel I'm looking for, right? No. As soon as you press the spacebar the dropdown disappears.

This new feature is close to useless if you can't search for a user beyond their first name.

But it gets much worse. If you select a user name from the dropdown list their name doesn't appear in the comment in a tidy blue box like in a browser , their email address does!

This amounts to a significant privacy failure by Google because many users will have chosen not to disclose their email addresses only to have them inadvertently revealed by Google's own app. Better get that fixed, Google.

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