Google Buzz finally arrives on Android, what took so long?

Mar 22, 2010
Tech

Google has finally launched a Buzz Android app, marking the company’s move to a mobile integration point for its multi-faceted application.  Weeks after revealing Buzz as a socially-driven component for sharing media through Gmail, Google expanded to mobile as another access point to Buzz.  There is a home page widget available, too. It’s about time. One of […]

Google has finally launched a Buzz Android app, marking the company’s move to a mobile integration point for its multi-faceted application.  Weeks after revealing Buzz as a socially-driven component for sharing media through Gmail, Google expanded to mobile as another access point to Buzz.  There is a home page widget available, too. It’s about time.

One of the most interesting things about Google’s mobile take on Buzz was the fact that there was very little presence at all. With Buzz’s obvious take on integration of one’s social Web presence, an accompanying app on Google’s own Android platform was the expected move.

Location-aware and private

Now that Buzz has lost its launch luster after facing harsh accusations from privacy advocates, Google may be looking to revive and further encourage the use of Buzz by creating a dedicated mobile outpost.  The widget and the Android app make it extremely easy to share information about yourself, and your whereabouts. This time, Google errs on the side of caution with Buzz’s handful of privacy settings.

Both the Android app and the widget work in very similar ways: write a note to share through Buzz and post.  There are options for attaching a photo, which can be accessed through your gallery or taken with your camera phone.  In this way, Buzz works much like many popular Twitter apps.

Sharing your location is heavily emphasized with the Buzz widget and app, as it is included in your buzz by default. Select to have your location removed, or change the location you’d like to buzz about.  Google even makes this easy, by providing 20 of the nearest locations for you to choose from.

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As far as privacy goes, there are public and private sharing options. A public message will simply be sent through your Google Buzz, accessible by other users that are following you.  Private sharing options limit your buzz to a select group of friends, which is pre-filtered based on your phone’s Contacts groups (i.e. Family or Starred).

Future integration

Given the giant push towards location-based mobile apps, as well as social media-sharing around our locations, it’s no surprise to see the amount of prodding Google has put into buzzing your coordinates. Particularly after the SXSW conference success of its FourSquare mobile app, which turns location-sharing into a game, Google is sure to flesh out the space’s opportunities.

For now, however, the Google Buzz widget and app remain relatively simple and focused on the buzzing component for social-media sharing. Until Buzz opens up for more two-way communication amongst the rest of the social-media world, its mobile app will be little more than a Google-specific version of Twitter.

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