Editors' note: This review was updated to cover the features added in the update released May 28, 2013.
Google+ for iOS is a clean and intuitive mobile app that has all of the capabilities of its desktop counterpart, save for the games and a few other minor features. The latest version adds a couple more photo-editing tools along with design tweaks to profile pages and other enhancements.
Gone is the ugly dashboard of icons that greeted you upon opening Google+ in earlier versions. Now, you can zip around this stunning mobile app via a nifty slide-out navigation window by hitting a button at the top left of the screen. This gives you easy access to your Home feed, Profile, Messenger, Photos, and People.
One big change I'll get into below is how the new Hangouts standalone app has brought about changes in Google+. It seems as though Google is trying to ease people into using Hangouts as the main communication app, so these features are in a sort of transitional phase in Google+. It's kind of confusing, but it's also an understandable step by the company to make people aware of the new app.
The Google+ Home screen is your main news feed and is the lifeblood of Google+. With the little drop-down at the top, you can choose to show feeds from All Circles, Nearby, What's Hot (trending posts), or any of your individual circles. As of yet, though, you can't create a custom feed with more than one circle (Family & Friends, for instance). Icons are sleek and the large photos that bleed off the sides of the interface are eye-catching.
From your Home screen, you can do almost everything you can in the full desktop version of Google+. You can easily comment on, share, and +1 items, and, of course, you can create and edit your own posts with pictures, videos, and location tags. A new auto-hash-tags feature in the latest version automatically surfaces hash tags at the top of a post, letting you tap to see related content. It's a great addition because it has an almost Wikipedia feel, where you can drill down to post after post of similar content and get lost in the millions of things posted to Google+.
Here, you can see your Google+ public profile page, all of your posts, and all of your photos. The profile page has been redesigned with a cleaner look that better fits the overall aesthetic of the app. Three buttons below your profile photo take you to a look at your latest posts; an About section where you can show the places you've lived along with work and education histories; and a place to check out your most recent uploaded photos.
As expected, this is the hub for all of your photos and videos, but in the latest version of the app some new editing tools give you more things you can do with your images. The photo section provides a simple interface for viewing and commenting on images from your circles, images you're tagged in, and, of course, all of the photos in your album. You can also view a new Highlights layout that chooses the best photos you have taken recently.