Google+ iOS SDK: sharebox improvements

Monday, December 16, 2013 | 10:18 AM

UPDATE (1/9/14): These updates were launched on Android as part of Google Play Services 4.1 (learn more).

Today we’re updating the Google+ sharebox in two ways, making it even easier for users to share with the right people from your app:

1) Better auto-complete. Now when users start adding recipients, auto-complete will suggest Gmail contacts, device contacts, and people on Google+. And of course: users can also just type in an email address.

Auto-complete now suggests Gmail contacts, device contacts, or anyone with a Google+ profile.


2) Suggested recipients. Users often share with certain people more than others (like family, for example), so the new “Suggestions” experience highlights these frequent and/or recent contacts at the top of the sharebox. Adding a recipient is as easy as tapping their photo.
Suggested recipients now appear at the top of the Google+ sharebox


Check out our developer documentation to learn more. If you’ve already added the Google+ sharebox to your iOS app, just upgrade to the latest iOS SDK to use today’s features.


Interactive post best practice: Lasting engagement

| 8:10 AM

This is the second in a 2-part series that chronicles best practices for interactive posts. Read part 1 ”Interactive post best practice: Involve friends.”


In today’s installment of interactive post best practices, we’ll review how +Mashable makes it easy to further the conversation around their content and create lasting engagement. Let's take a look at how they’ve done this:

Interactive post shared with a “View” call-to-action button


Ayush has shared an article on Mashable with me. When I click the “View” button in the interactive post, I’m taken to the article page on Mashable. Mashable encourages meaningful on-site interaction by displaying who shared the article with me, and inviting me to discuss the article with that person. Having context and a targeted action button entices users to respond back and keep the conversation going.

When I’m taken to Mashable, they include sharing context and encourage me to respond back.


When I click the “Discuss with Ayush Agarwal” button, the Google+ sharebox includes a pre-filled message to Ayush ("Thanks for sharing, +Ayush Agarwal"), and it adds him as a recipient in the “To” line. I can then extend the conversation by adding additional text and sharing with more people from my circles or with specific email addresses.

Mashable pre-fills Ayush as a recipient in the “To” line and pre-fills some text in the sharebox.


Mashable’s unique way at providing social attribution for those who share content furthers the conversation in an authentic and meaningful way. By working interactive posts into your user flow in a relevant way and by making it easier to share, you can keep users engaged in your content longer.

To get started and for more info on interactive posts, visit https://developers.google.com/+/features/interactive-posts.


Google+ Sign-In improvements

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 | 11:28 AM

Today we’re launching three updates to Google+ Sign-In, making it easier and more effective to include Google authentication in your app:

1. Support for all Google account types 
Google+ Sign-In now supports all Google account types, including Google Apps users, and users without a Google+ profile.


2. Easy migration from other auth methods 
If you’re using OpenID v2 or OAuth 2.0 Login for authentication and want to upgrade to Google+ Sign-In, we’ve made it easy to do so; it’s entirely your choice. Google+ Sign-In can grow your audience in multiple ways — including over-the-air installs, interactive posts, and cross-device sign-on — and now it’s fully compatible with the OpenID Connect standard. For more details, see our sign-in migration guide.

3. Incremental auth
Incremental auth is a new way to ask users for the right permission scopes at the right time, versus all permissions at once.

For example:
  • If your app allows users to save music playlists to Google Drive, you can ask for basic profile info at startup, and only ask for Google Drive permissions when they’re ready to save their first mix. 
  • Likewise: you can ask for Google Calendar permissions only when users RSVP to an event, and so on.



Now that incremental auth is available for Google+ Sign-In, we recommend asking for the minimum set of permissions up front, then asking for further permissions only when they’re required. This approach not only helps users understand how their information will be used in your app, it can also reduce friction and increase app engagement.

8Tracks only asks for the necessary permissions to get users started in their app.


Once in the app, 8Tracks prompts users to connect their YouTube account to get mix recommendations.


When users click ‘Connect Your YouTube account’, 8Tracks asks users for the additional YouTube permission.

If you have any questions, join our Developing with Google+ community, or tag your Stack Overflow posts with ‘google-plus’.


Interactive post best practice: Involve friends

Monday, December 9, 2013 | 1:54 PM

This is the first in a 2-part series that chronicles best practices for interactive posts. Come back next Monday to read the 2nd installment.

As part of our launch of Google+ Sign-In we introduced interactive posts: Google+ posts with custom calls-to-action button like buy, listen to, review, or just view. We’ve since found that interactive posts have a click-through rate that’s 3x higher than a standard share! In this two-part blog series we’ll cover a few best practices for incorporating interactive posts into your app. In today’s installment, we’ll review how +Fancy has integrated interactive posts into their app resulting in highly targeted, action-oriented shares. Let’s take a look at how they’ve done this:


When I create a group gift on Fancy, there’s a prompt to ask friends for contributions. Prominent placement of the button on the page encourages users not to miss it. When I send the post to friends they’ll see the “Contribute” button in the post, taking them back to Fancy to add funds. Fancy has also integrated Google Wallet so users can pay with just one click.

When friends click “Contribute”, they’re deep linked into Fancy to pay

Fancy designed their site to help users involve friends in meaningful ways. The action they want users to take is included as descriptive text on the share button, and it’s relevant to what users are doing on the site. This produces a clear and compelling case for involving friends. By giving users meaningful context why they should involve friends in your app and prominently displaying the call-to-action, you can create highly targeted, action-oriented shares.

To get started and for more info on interactive posts, visit https://developers.google.com/+/features/interactive-posts.


Google+ JavaScript SDK Enhancements

Monday, November 25, 2013 | 10:13 AM

Today we’re announcing a few updates to the Google+ JavaScript SDK APIs. These changes are backward compatible with current integrations, and are designed to make future integrations easier.

  • gapi.auth.signIn() triggers user sign-in and authorization in JavaScript, making it easier to integrate Google+ Sign-In with existing account creation flows. 
  • A new status field indicates whether users are signed in to Google and/or your website, and a new method field describes how the sign-in occurred. 
  • The sign-in callback is now dynamic when using page-level configuration. This makes it possible, for example, to sync your site’s user experience across multiple tabs. 

We hope these changes make it easier to integrate your website with Google+ Sign-In, and we welcome your feedback in the Developing with Google+ community.

Google+ iOS SDK 1.4.0: in-app share box and ID token support

Thursday, October 3, 2013 | 10:00 AM

Today we are announcing version 1.4.0 of the Google+ iOS SDK. The new version includes two of the most highly requested features from the developer community:

  1. In-app share box. Now your users can share with their Google+ circles, directly from your iOS app! In addition, the native in-app share box supports image and video attachments. If you've already implemented browser-based sharing, you can switch to the native in-app share box with a single line change:
              Just update this:
     [[GPPShare sharedInstance] shareDialog]
              to this:
     [[GPPShare sharedInstance] nativeShareDialog]

                             
The native iOS in-app share box                                            
  2. ID token support. ID tokens allow you to securely verify the identity of users of your iOS                     clients to your application servers.

Companies like Huffington Post are already taking advantage of these new features. To download or to learn more about the Google+ iOS SDK, visit our Google+ Developers site.

Posted by Ranjith Jayaram, Product Manager, Google+ iOS Platform

Google+: author attribution & embedded posts

Monday, September 9, 2013 | 11:14 AM

When you create and share content online, you want people to know you're the author— no matter how far that content may travel. Not only do you get the credit, you can also grow your audience over time. Today we're introducing two Google+ platform features that help authors do both — on Google, and across the web.

Author attribution

Starting today we’re integrating Google+ Sign-In with Google’s Authorship program. So if you connect your WordPress.com account with Google, for instance, the articles you publish will now be associated with your Google+ profile automatically.

With this association in place, we can look for ways to surface your info when it's most relevant. For example, today users may see your name, picture and/or a link to your Google+ profile when your content appears in Search, News and other Google products.



We’re piloting this integration with two major platforms today: WordPress and Typepad. We’re also working with a variety of other sites — including About.com, WikiHow, and Examiner — so we can learn and expand the pilot to all kinds of sites and apps using Google+ Sign-In.

Embedded posts

In addition to sites like WordPress and Typepad, many of you (in fact, millions of you) are posting content on Google+. We want to make it easy to expand your audience across the web, so today we’re introducing embedded posts.

With embedded posts, site owners can now add your public Google+ posts to their web pages — as a primary source, for example, or to highlight your point of view. Text, photo and media posts are all supported, and the embeds are fully interactive, so visitors can +1, comment and follow you inline.



If you’re a site owner and you’d like to embed a post, simply find a public post on Google+, and select ‘Embed post’ from the drop-down menu. Copy the code, add it to your web page, and you’re all set! We've also worked with the following sites, so you can see embeds in action: Business Insider, Elle, Eurosport, Financial Times, LA Times, National Geographic, NDTV.com, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, People StyleWatch, TechCrunch, Thrillist, TV Guide, US Weekly, and The Verge.

To learn more about today’s announcements, feel free to check out our Help Center and developer documentation.