Getting Started on the Google+ API

The Google+ project brings the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. The Google+ platform brings that nuance and richness to all of the web. We started with Google’s own products, added the +1 button for site owners and content publishers, and introduced games from a handful of partners. That’s just the beginning though — we want every one of you who builds applications to be able to include rich sharing, identity, and conversations in your app. Today, we’re taking the next step on that journey by launching the first of the Google+ APIs.

Let’s Go Public

Google+ gives users full control over their information, supporting everything from intimate conversations with family to public showcases and debates. This initial API release is focused on public data only — it lets you read information that people have shared publicly on Google+. For example, if you want to get my profile information, you can use the people.get method by sending the following HTTP request:


which returns the following JSON encoded output (excerpted for brevity):

 "kind": "plus#person",
 "id": "108189587050871927619",
 "displayName": "Chris Chabot",
 "image": {
  "url": ""
 "organizations": [
   "name": "Google+ Developer Relations",
   "title": "Developer Advocate & Manager",
   "type": "work"

Similarly, you can get a list of my most recent public posts by using the activities.list method:


Because we’re starting with public data only, you simply need to register your app before making requests. And if you aren’t yet sure which Google+ user is running your app (for example, because they’re installing it for the first time), then you can use the new OAuth2 scope to ask the user who they are.

After your application has requested this scope, you can use the special “me” identifier rather than the long numeric identifier:


On The Shoulders of Giants

We love the way the programmable web has evolved, so we’re using existing standards and best practices wherever we can:

  • Our API methods are RESTful HTTP requests which return JSON responses.
  • Our payload formats use standard syntax (e.g. PoCo for people info, for activities).
  • We use OAuth 2 for secure trusted access to user data.

In addition, since most of us no longer write raw HTTP requests these days, we provide libraries for your favorite language: JavaGWTPythonRubyPHPObjective-C, and .NET. These libraries are all open source, so we’d love to have your feedback and help with them.

You can find more information about the Google+ platform, including today’s new APIs to public data, at on our new Google Developers site. This site will be the place to go for access to documentationterms and policiesdiscussions with other developers, tools that make development on the +Platform easier and more fun and, of course, the place where announcements concerning new releases will be made.

Included in our policies are three simple guidelines that we aspire to in our own products, and that we’d like all applications built on the Google+ platform to follow also: put the user first, be transparent, and respect user data. The goal behind these guidelines, as with all of the features and fine print, is to work together to build products that our users will love.

And now …

For all of you developers who have been asking for a Google+ API, this is the start. Experiment with it. Build apps on it. This is just the beginning; the Google+ platform will grow and we value your input as we move Google+ forward.

Follow the conversation on Google+.

Touch Vision Interface employs AR to control screens from afar [video]

While the “how” behind it is no doubt complicated (and being kept largely under wraps at the moment), the end result is fairly simple: you just point your smartphone at a screen (or two) and start manipulating it from the point of view provided by the phone’s camera. Of course, it’s all still in the early stages right now, but group sees a wide range of applications for the system — even including large outdoor billboards.


[India Online Report] Peak Emailing Happens: 12-1 PM, Social Networking: 2-3 PM

A report from IMRB on Internet usage in India suggests that there are 56Mn active urban Internet users above the age of 15. The report tracked 5 usage categories, viz. Email, Social Networking, Finance, Travel and Cricket. Following are the stats for each of these categories:

1. Email – 51.1Mn users
2. Social networking – 42.6Mn
3. Finance – 22.4Mn
4. Travel – 20Mn
5. Cricket – 14.6Mn

For emails, the report suggests that peak usage happens between 12PM to 1PM. While Gmail is the clear leader followed by Yahoo, Rediff and Hotmail.

Social Networking sites are most used between 2PM-3PM. Facebook is undoubtedly the leader with Orkut having half as much traffic. Surprisingly, Ibibo is ahead of Linkedin at number 3.

Finance sites see a peak after market hours between 4PM to 5PM. Moneycontrol is the leader in the category with Yahoo Finance and Rediff Money following in closely. Unlike email and social networking, the finance sites’ traffic is very fragmented with the market leader having only 15% share.

Travel is still dominated by Indian railways but MakeMyTrip is close behind IRCTC at number 2. has nearly half the traffic as that of MMT.

Cricket saw a leader in Yahoo followed by ESPNcricinfo. Given that the data is for April-’11, the Indiatimes-IPL site also saw significant traffic and ranked at number 3.


NSquared’s Seamless Computing – seems really ‘Seamless’ ! [video]

Sydney’s nsquared is calling it “Seamless Computing” — software which unifies Windows Phone 7SurfaceWindows 7 Slate and Kinect. Begin designing a new home on your phone and then place it on the Surface to share between all the devices, then pick up the Slate to make some modifications before walking through a 3D model of the building, navigating with Kinect’s gesture interface. Software like AirPlay and Touch to Share already give you a taste for this sort of tech, but the experience that Dr. Neil Roodyn demonstrates in the video below is far more immersive — not to mention unspeakably cool.