Evil defaults: Google+ on Android handsets

As I mentioned earlier, I have acquired an Android phone, complete with lots of Google apps. I have also signed up for Google+, and I’ve been getting regular alerts from Google (via the red box at the top right of various pages) of new friend requests and other stuff.
This morning, Kate and I went with some friends to a winery. While there, I snapped a number of photos on my Android phone, as one does.
This afternoon, I visited Google Reader to check out some blogs, and it alerted me to the fact that I had some Google+ updates. To my surprise, the “update” was an uploaded library of the pictures I’d taken this morning. Yes, the library was still unshared, but WTF?!?!

  • Why did it do this?
  • When did it do this?
  • Did the phone wait until I was connected by WiFi, or did it use some of my (capped) 4G bandwidth to upload the pictures? (And was this one source of my unexpected battery drain?)
  • Eventually I discovered a Google + app settings screen that I had never seen before, which confirmed that the app was configured to upload all photographs over any available data connection, cellular or WiFi. I reconfigured it immediately to upload only on demand, and only over WiFi.
    So if you own an Android phone, and you’ve joined Google +, I strongly urge you to check the settings for the Google+ app on your phone. It could be uploading all of your photos, wasting bandwidth and depleting your battery. This strikes me as a very stupid default configuration.