Google’s Newest venture into communication called: Google Wave. Wave is a mixture of instant messenger, e-mail, collaborative document editor, and in theory much more. By now everyone who wanted access to the developer preview has it and more invites than they must need. Which is in my opinion an incredibly clever marketing tactic, they created a huge demand for Wave invites by limiting them in the beginning and now that Wave has spread considerably through the first invites everyone has heard of it just about the time when they released extra invites and allow everyone who is the least bit interested into the preview. (Google Wave is the most talked about subject on the micro blogging site Twitter.com for the entire year!)
Onto the product! Google Wave is an HTML 5 app which currently uses Google Gears to augment some of its functions (such as dragging and dropping files) I started up the app and found that it worked best with Google Chrome on Windows 7 (no surprise there) since it isn’t a separate application any browser with HTML 5 capabilities (I am really hoping for a desktop app in the future) an even works on Iphone and Android phones with promise for more . Google Wave allows you to add contacts to a Wave and pretty much interact with them in any way you want from instant messaging (and I mean instant! character by character!) to email to video conferencing and VoIP. It also allows you too embed rich content such as pictures and video and even web applications via extensions and bots.
Extensions are apps/add-ons that you can add to you Google Wave toolbar such as Google Maps and insert into the Wave for participates to interact with. Bots perform a similar function by being participates in the Wave and while they can do anything a normal participant could (such as add gadgets or apps to a Wave) they seem best suited to passively editing the Wave in less noticeably ways, I’m thinking of the bot Sweepy who cleans up a Wave by deleting empty blips(posts) or Piratify which changes everything you say into pirate speak. Using extensions and bots the ways to enhance and extend Wave are limitless. Google has also made a point of keeping Wave open to anyone by allowing other people to host Wave on their own servers so Google will not be entirely in control of Wave. Waves can be embedded into blogs to provide a rich stream of content and that will allow you to in future aggregate the comments you make on websites or blogs and see what replies you get without having to return to the site.
Along with being able to see character by character what someone is typing you can also edit or reply to any part of a Wave like other peoples blips or posts, and it is collaborative! meaning multiple people can edit the same document at the same time. With all this editing Waves can get complicated fast to counteract this Google implemented a feature called ‘Playback’ Playback allows you to view how a Wave progressed step by step.
With all of its marvellous features you’d think Wave would have no trouble spreading like wildfire through the internet and it has, but even with its massive amount of coverage Wave is still in a pre-beta stage and needs much more work before it becomes the next indispensible communication tool and rightly so. I’ve seen reviews badmouthing Wave already and it isn’t even into beta yet. I say give it a chance it has great potential and if Google listens to its user base it will be able to meet that potential. So true it does have problems such as: E-mail specifically Gmail isn’t natively supported by wave and blips can’t be made read-only (those are my two biggest gripes).
The Wavety List of Bots and Extensions – Best collection I could find.