Not everyone in the world loves living in a browser, unlike my good friend Louis Gray who does (still have a bone to pick with you about that Louis), and I am one of those people. I love me some desktop, the more of it the better. However when new browser based service come along, as Google+ has without any API’s for developers to drool and create over we find ourselves stuck in that browser world.
Now Google still hasn’t come out with an API for Google+ yet but that hasn’t stopped a few enterprising developers from at least trying to come out with desktop alternatives, of which G+7 from Kalamon Software is the newest offering that I have seen, and the first that I have actually tried.
It doesn’t get much simpler than G+7 as it is a straight install and run desktop gadget for Windows 7 that will display your Google+ feed. Setting up is really easy as you just select the Options button at the side of the gadget on your desktop and then sign in to Google+ after which you can also modify a few options for the gadget as you can see above.
By default the gadget will be displayed in the smaller format
However you can change it to a larger size by clicking on the arrow icon at the top right on the gadget, which will change the display to the size you specified in the gadget options.
Additionally if you want to expand any of the listed messages you can click on the message area itself and that post will get displayed in a larger screen.
On the whole this is a pretty good way to keep an eye on your Google+ stream but it isn’t without it’s problems though.
Primary of those problems is that you can’t post comments or +1 anything but that isn’t totally the fault of the developer though, I think. It has to do with the fact that the developer doesn’t have any APIs to work with and I am pretty certain that it will take there being an API before any third party app will be able to interact realtime with Google+.
There are also some design aspects about the gadget that irritate me and I think it could benefit from some serious design love, preferably following the Metro UI design guide.
While this might not be totally ready for prime time there are some that would just like to be able to monitor their Google+ stream and I think this could fit the bill. In the meantime I’ll be keeping an eye on the project and hope that Google releases an API soon for developers like this one.