Developers anxiously awaiting the Google+ API (application programming interface) will have to wait a little while longer, we’re told. Although Google is hard at work on building the tools which would enable developers to build third-party applications for the new social networking service from the search giant, the API’s launch is still “months” away.
The timeframe, amorphous and vague as it is, was revealed by a Google+ project manager to a Google+ developer, who has asked to remain anonymous for obvious reasons.
And it’s certainly disappointing news for anxious Google+ enthusiasts and developers itching to launch or use apps that leverage the network’s unique capabilities, like Circles, Hangouts, Sparks and Huddles.
Last month, for example, we had high hopes that an API was on the horizon, when Sully Taylor, Creative Director for Teens in Tech Labs and Founder & CEO at Sully Creative, released a basic Google+ application for Mac users. He had posted on Google+ that he had “access to private APIs,” which led to a firestorm of speculation about the status of the official Google+ API launch.
Sully later removed the comment from his Google+ profile at the request of Google, saying that it was “misleading.” In addition, Google also told us that no developer has private API access.
And it looks like no developer will for some time yet.
In the meantime, there are several unofficial workarounds available for accessing parts of the Google+ service, including this unofficial Google Plus API on Github and this Java object for accessing a few basics from the network, like profile details, friend lists, and posts, for example. The problem, of course, with using these unofficial methods is that they’re often difficult to build, prone to breaking as things on Google+ change, buggy and incomplete.
That said, given that Google+ launched in late June, an API launch by year-end would be a solid 6 months after the social network’s debut – certainly a reasonable timeframe (even speedy, perhaps) for an API of such scope.
A Google project headed by Vic Gundotra and Bradley Horowitz, Google+ is designed to be the social extension of Google. Its features focus on making online sharing easy for users. “Circles,” think social circles, akin to Facebook’s lists. “Sandbar,” a user-unifying toolbar. “Sparks,” a search engine for sharing content between users. “Messenger,” a group messaging app that allows users to share with certain “Circles.” “Hangouts,” group video chatting designed to allow up to 10 users video chat at once. Each Google+ user can replace his...