I’ve been using Google+ for a while now, and while I find it to be a good social network, I don’t know how popular it will become given the significant number of people who use Facebook. The truth is that most of the people who are on Facebook will have to be convinced why they should use Google+ rather than Facebook because they aren’t going to use two social networks. However, I think there is a good reason why millions of Android users should sign up for Google+; automatic backup of photos.
In my opinion the most valuable feature of the Google+ Android app is the instant upload of photos that you take on your phone. The process is automatic and once you take a photo a copy is sent to Google’s servers in a private area of Google+. The photos are actually stored in Google’s photo site called Picasa Web, which you can access without using Google+. In fact, you could create a Google+ account, install the Android app, and then never access Google+ and still gain the benefit of having automatic backup of your photos.
I think the automatic and online backup of photos is most important for Android because it doesn’t require a connection to a PC for any function. iPhone users are in the habit of connecting their phones to a PC to sync music and install updates and therefore are more likely to sync pictures with their computers. My guess is that it is very common for Android users to have tons of photos on their phone that are not copied anywhere else and would be forever gone should the phone be lost or stolen, or there is some type of failure of the device.
Frankly, I would prefer to see Google take the instant upload portion of the Android Google+ app and build it into the Android Gallery app so that it is a default feature of Android phones. Microsoft has just such a service built into Windows Phone, and I think it’s one of it’s most attractive features. In the mean time, I recommend that Android users sign up to Google+ and then install the Android app as soon as they can receive an invite.