June 19, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Two of the biggest holes in Google+ are the social network’s lack of meaningful API access or a proper tablet view for Android. Today at the Le Web conference in London, Google+ Product Manager Bradley Horowitz maintained the company line that these are things the folks in Mountain View are actively working on.
Horowitz revealed today that social news reading app Flipboard has been granted access to Google+ API’s that allow it to read and write to the network. He then demoed a Flipboard app on an iPad, showing how photos and comments from G+ could be displayed and allow for user responses within Flipboard. Presumably, this API access would allow a future version of Flipboard for Android to have more relevant articles and better incorporate social for its users who do not use Facebook or Twitter.
The API access is important because it’s a sign that Google is finally opening up its doors to enable third party apps with write permission, which is critical for a complete third-arty experience for Google+. Developers like One Louder (Tweetcaster, Sportcaster, Channelcaster) and Level Up Studio (Plume) have expressed interest in building for Google+ but have been unable to because of Google’s reluctance to open its API beyond the read level. Horowitz maintains that Google will not open the API until “we can do it in a way that we know is good for users,” meaning it’s not a stream of cross-posted tweets or spammy updates.
With Google I/O set to host thousands of developers next week in San Francisco, perhaps Google will announce its plans for Google+ API access there.
P.S. While we’re on the subject of tablets, Horowitz hinted that a Google+ tablet version – as in one actually designed for larger view rather than just scaling up – is in development. He said on stage, “We’re dramatically investing in mobile…It’s a good thing for us.”