It’s almost 2 months since Google announced the launch of Google Wave. But many of us are still not aware about the capabilities of Google Wave. Why everyone in tech world is so much excited about it? Is it something which is path-breaking? Is it something which will change the way Internet works today? So, what exactly is Google Wave?
What is Google Wave?
Google Wave is a new in-browser communication and collaboration tool that is already being hailed by some as the next evolution of email. So basically, Google Wave is a real-time communication platform. t combines aspects of email, instant messaging, wikis, web chat, social networking, and project management to build one elegant, in-browser communication client. You can bring a group of friends or business partners together to discuss how your day has been or share files.
Google Wave is supposed to replace traditional email systems and improve them by using more interactive, live, on-the-fly methods to deliver information. Traditional emails work on a basis of typing a message, potentially styling the message, and hitting “send” and off it goes to the recipient. Traditional instant messaging systems work by typing a message, hitting enter and automatically sending to the recipient for instant delivery. Wave offers a hybrid of the two. If both people are logged on, they can open a conversation (called a wave) and send a message to the recipient which will not only instantly send to the recipient, but the recipient can (optionally) see every letter when you type it and write back instantaneously. This speeds up conversation drastically instead of having to wait for others to reply to press enter to start writing your response. Given that the recipient is offline, they will receive the wave in their inbox in bolded.
How Google Wave works?
- Wave – A wave is the highest entity in the Google Wave hierarchy. Each wave can be thought of as a separate thread in a Forum. They are like topics.
- Wavelet – A wavelet is a sub entity of a Google Wave. It is like an individual conversation you would have amidst a larger discussion. Kind of like whispering to your best friend in the middle of an AA meeting about how the Red Sox are doing. Not that I would know of course.
- Blip – A blip is like a single comment within a wavelet. To go back to our AA example, it’s like saying to your friend “David Ortiz might actually get some hits in tonight’s game.” It’s just one comment.
Google Wave Features
1. Real-time functionality : You can see what someone else is typing, character-by-character. It gives the impression of a conversation where everyone is actually in the room with you. This property also applies to real-time changes to multimedia such as images, documents and programs.
2. Embeddability : Waves can be embedded on any blog or website. There is no need for the Google Wave client to be on your desktop in this situation. Visitors to your web page can manipulate the wave straight from the site itself. I see potential in this replacing comments as we know it in blogs.
3. Extensions : An extension is a mini-application within a wave. This is similar to what we have in Facebook or iGoogle. Developers can build their own apps within waves.
4. Open Source : The Google Wave code will be open source, so expect hundreds and thousands of innovative applications using Wave API.
5. Drag-and-drop file sharing : No attachments; just drag your file and drop it inside Google Wave and everyone will have access.
6. Mobile support : Google Wave can be viewed on a mobile device.
These are just some of the many features of Google Wave and the possibilities are endless.
No wonder so many people, geeks and non-techies alike, are so excited about this new wave on the web!
Update: Signup for a Free Invite to Google Wave.
Resources: Mashable, Google Wave, Semnook