Ten Big Adds for Google + (Updated)

I have been seeing scores of posts with peoples’ opinions on what Google + needs to make it better and, for the most part, I find I disagree with them. But Martin Bryant’s post over at The Next Web  has the first list that actually notes improvements that make sense. To me, anyway. I really don’t care whether I can watch a TV program with my virtual friends on the + network.

From a lawyer’s perspective, Bryant’s suggestions would make the service a lot more business-friendly. His first, search, is a necessity. There is no way to search posts within Google +, which seems odd coming from a search giant. Why not? Wouldn’t it be great to search within Google + to find others discussing the same issues of interest to you, or sharing content you want to see? The second, improved sharing, is also needed – I struggle with sharing from the mobile applications. I am using + on both Android and iOS, and while the dedicated Android app is better, it still lacks the ability to reshare another post or get the full “link” sharing experience of the desktop. Since people seem to spend more time on their mobiles these days, improved sharing with a mobile bent would be most welcome.

Shared circles – like Groups in Friendfeed for those familiar with the concept – would be a great place for like-minded professionals to read, share AND comment on industry-related topics. And, of course, document collaboration is high on the list of most workers. Wave had it, why not +? Combine the document collaboration feature with the Hangout group video chat feature, and I think you would have a real business winner on your hands.

Instant translation and a log of your activity would also serve + well – I would like to be able to go back over the actions I have taken on + to track stuff that I liked or commented on and translation seems vital in our internationally connected world. While I am less concerned with connecting + with Twitter and Facebook, it might help initially to stave off the sense on + that it is completely unconnected to your family and friends (most of my tech friends are on + already).

It’s great that you can edit posts once you post them, but how about being able to save posts as drafts in order to prevent loss on system failures? This would make + a more effective “blogging” platform – a one-stop shop that could challenge Tumblr, as well as Facebook and Twitter.

Integrating audio and maps into + would also be a, well, plus. But if you are going to get into some of the less business-worthy adds, I have one that Bryant doesn’t mention – how about getting Google Music incorporated into +? Two great services that would DEFINITELY taste great together.

Thanks Martin for the very nice list. Google, are you listening?

UPDATED: If you use Chrome (and you should) and need translation help right away, consider using the Helper for Google+ extension created by Misha M. Kupriyanov – you can get it at http://bit.ly/gplushelper . You’re welcome.

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5 Out Of 7 Lawyers Choose iPads

In an interesting article over at InfoWorld, Tom Kanishige documents the massive rollout by New York firm Proskauer Rose of iPad 2s to its attorneys. Whoa. iPad 2s for attorneys on a firm-wide scale? It might be the largest enterprise roll-out of iPads to lawyers to date. Wait. What about the cloud? What about the apps? What about the lack of a keyboard?

Apparently, Proskauer, in a very forward thinking move, decided to give its lawyers the choice between either a laptop computer or an iPad 2 / desktop combination and 500 out of 700 took the latter option. As one could imagine, the decision to offer the option and attendant IT support for the rollout was no simple process. IT management had to determine the “rules of engagement” for iPad use, ultimately deciding to permit personal use of the device along with business use (who could resist showing off their shiny new tablet to family and friends?) and prohibiting use of cloud apps like DropBox (these are sensitive legal documents, after all). A lengthy internal user manual was produced and MobileIron was tasked with managing and securing the iPads remotely. Proskauer agreed to permit lawyers to expense two of my personal favorite iOS apps Goodreader and DocsToGo Premium, the latter for its ability to show tracked changes. The remaining applications will cost the lawyers themselves (nice money save for the firm there) but Proskauer has compiled a list of “recommended” business applications.

Sounds pretty cool, right? I would LOVE my company to present me with an iPad 2 (it could keep my original iPad company). But Proskauer really can’t simply sit on its laurels on this one – with all the documented changes to the iOS platform coming in the near future (and undocumented ones that are certain to follow in the not so near future), Proskauer’s IT people will have to be quite nimble. Take iCloud for example – with the prohibition against using cloud services, what will happen when iCloud becomes baked into the entire iPad OS?

I am sure they are on it. In the meantime, welcome to the Shiny, Proskauer!