27
Jun
googlepluslogo

We knew it was coming, and now it's finally here. Google+ Events. And it's even bigger than we ever thought it could be. Google has gone beyond mere RSVP. Google wants your Events page to be central to your real-life get-togethers, before, during, and after the event. In addition to tying into Google Calendar, Events serve as a central place for all your event photos, organized chronologically that can be uploaded by all guests. It's like a mega feed for your party.

Before

The Events tab on Google+ can be used to create your event and fill out all the necessary details: who's invited, where it is, when it's happening and whatnot. You can invite guests whether they're currently using Google+ or not, which is a huge bonus, as Google is still trying to gain traction with its social network. Once you create the event, it is immediately added to your Google Calendar. That's just where the fun begins.

Events get their own dedicated page on Google+. Not only can your friends view the invite from there, but they can also check to see if they're available straight from the event. A "check availability" button will pop up a small dialog of any events in their Google Calendar around the time of the event. If there's a conflict, the page can let you know immediately.

The pages can also be themed by the event coordinator with motion banners (or "cinemagraphic themes", as Google likes to call them). You can use Google's built-in images, or supply your own. This solves the mystery of the "themes" function. It's superficial, but very nice.

During

Here's where the magic happens. Google has always been proud of Instant Upload, the feature that allows users to instantly upload photos to their accounts to selectively share later. Well, for parties, is there really a need to wait until you get home and you're tired and just want to sleep? "Nope!" says Google. Hence "Party Mode" where attendees, any attendees, mind you, can immediately upload pictures directly to an Events page as the shindig is going down. Anyone viewing the event online can even see a live slideshow of what's happening. So, now, all your aunts and grandmas can see all your graduations and birthdays even if they live on the other side of the country.

After

In what might be one of the coolest features of the new Events pages, all the photos from an event can now be consolidated onto a single page. So, no more "Hey, can you send me the pics from the party" because they're already there. Of course, if you missed some, pictures can also be added later. The pictures can be sorted by who took the photo, who's in the photo, or perhaps most intriguingly, when the photos were taken, creating a chronological feed of the event in the order it happened.

The events page also collects the most active photos at the top in an "Events Highlights" section. Photos with the most comments and +1s will appear front and center to highlight the best (or at least most talked about) parts of the event. So naturally, the first kiss at the wedding, blowing out the candles at a birthday party, and the part where Candi took her top off at the first party of the Fall semester will all be readily accessible.

Overview

All in all, it's a lot of seemingly-minor features that leave us wondering why this hasn't been done before. Google Events could be used for far more than just organizing parties. A family could just as easily set up a private event for Christmas morning and use the event page to auto-collect all of the photos from the day and then share those photos with friends. The only thing that could make it better is if it had support for video/Hangouts, though I can't imagine Google hasn't thought of that yet.

Source: Google Blog (1), (2)

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://twitter.com/zachvossdesign zach voss

    this is really cool. Just wish I had more friends that used G+. most of my event stuff is made on facebook

  • Ravrahn

    Awesome, but the people I go out with aren't on G+, which is a real shame.

    • Perry Ahern

      "You can invite guests whether they're currently using Google+ or not"

      • Ravrahn

        Presumably, non-users won't be able to share photos, so it won't be the same.

        • jayray78

          You can create a public event and anyone will be able to see it.

  • randyfromreno

    All these extra features are sure to get people to switch from farcebook.

  • 666

    functionality wise this is awesome but I dont wanna expose my whole live on the internet. Especially not when I a partying

  • Ron Amadeo

    <3

    Called it!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Yes, you did. That was great detective work there, Ron!

  • Dolphin

    I love that I can add people who aren't on Google+, that will make this REALLY easy for me to use!

  • http://twitter.com/AndroidNinja4 TJ Hardin

    This is amazing. Now just wish people would actually use G+, im tired of the excise "I dont want to learn anything new" omfg.

    • jayray78

      What? None of your friends are on G+? Time to make new ones!

  • Jake

    What's great about this is that you can invite people who aren't on G+ yet. Once they see how cool it is, it may encourage them to actually join and use G+.

    People keep complaining about how few of their personal friends & family are on G+. If you actively invite them using stuff like this Events feature, they may start using it.

  • http://twitter.com/DroidKl0wn Droid Kl0wn

    With googles new "privacy" policies, I'll just keep these moments for me and shared via email ;O).

  • Doug Orcutt

    I have an upcoming HS reunion.  I already use another site for the invitation and RSVP, so it would be awkward to create a new Google Event and re-invite everyone.  But, I love the idea of everyone uploading their photos.  Do you think non-G+ users could upload photos from their home computer days after the event?  Would I then have a link that I could post to enable everyone to view the pics or must I first invite everyone to the event and have them accept the invitation?  

  • David Ung

    I bet that Facebook will copy the features (except for party mode) in less than two weeks :)

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      But Facebook will have to build those features into their Android app to make it even remotely useful.  Based on the last two weeks, where even sending messages is buggy and highly unreliable, I think we can safely predict copied features won't even work for a long time.

      This definitely isn't going to be a killing blow, but I predict this will cause a LOT of new people to try G+, and I already know a few people who've said that Events is the feature they needed/wanted most before they switched completely.  This is a very well thought out, very creative, and easily understandable feature for regular people...  And it's from Google!?!?!? :)  This is exactly what they needed to give G+ a huge push, and it's timed perfectly.

      Of course, so many people are going to regret how much evidence will turn up for the rest of the party (or world) to see.

  • Elias

    Obviously the photo collection can only be viewed in the event page, which will only be accessible for those who have been at the event. No business on your co-workers seeing you drunk, passed out and pranked by your closer friends.

  • Elias

    Question: let's say I don't want to waste my mobile data caps, or I'm having network coverage issues. Will the google+ app upload automatically all the photos taken while on "party mode" once I get back home and connect to my wifi?

    • jayray78

      Yes. If you switch your auto upload to wifi only.

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        I've got a feeling that this is going to lead to a lot of people pushing their host to make wifi available to everybody.

        Also, great product idea...I'm sure somebody else has said it, but I haven't read it before, so I'm quite pleased with it...I want a Wifi Access Point that supports NFC for auto-pairing.  Full encryption, no passwords, simple management by administrator (through an API, none of this web admin crap).  Somebody make this, I'll buy two.

  • jayray78

    Yeah, you can schedule a hangout.