Friday, October 16, 2009

First Look at Google Wave

On a boring tuesday morning, I woke up and logged into my gmail,

Whoa !!! A mail reading "We're happy to give you access to Google Wave and are enlisting your help to improve the product" Yes I think I'm feeling lucky today.
I am so very excited :)

What it is not?
Its not any email client or a Gmail integrated with additional features.You wont find any "compose mail" button and dont expect that there is integrated Gtalk.

What it is lets find out?
Its actually a completely new and a revolutionary concept. As they say ... email came some 40 years back ... and if email was invented now, what will it look like ... Yes the answer is Google Wave.

In conventional mail a copy of mail goes to every recipient and the replies from recipients forms a mail thread .. and the whole mail gets cluttered up...see below...

In Google wave there's a common location where wave recipients can see the shared mail... and collaborate in real-time. See below

Hands On
When you login into google wave, you see a default page with 4 blocks, Navigation, Contacts, Inbox and an editing page for new wave.
Here's what it looks like [click to enlarge]

Here I am chatting with a Robot named Eliza...

As our minds are always wired that first we compose a mail; we hit the send button, the person receives it and then sends a reply. The same doesnt happen here. In Google wave the mails are replaced by "wave". We create a new wave and this wave is shared and the person who is invited to see the wave can reply to it.

In simple terms Google wave is a Chat room with plethora of features. You can embedd videos, pictures files .. and a whole lot of other things like google maps, social networking websites -- facebook , twitter and orkut

The best thing about google wave is its speed and flexibility... its superfast response and the speed at which it attaches files is simply superb...

Create a new wave by clicking "new wave"... type your message and click done and wave pops up the "Add participants" module so that you can share it with other people in your contacts.

Abra-ka-dabra... the magic begins here.. when the co-waver is replying to your wave .. you can see what he/she is typing can see other person's cursor,each letter,key-by-key on your screen... its a bit weirdo .. but its awesome ... you can know whats there in your girlfriend mind while she is typing...
However for better you can switch this feature off ... to avoid people knowing whats goin on in your mind ;)

You can do a lot more by adding a YouTube video, Google Map, image, links, or anything that a gadget enables... and its quite simple to do .. unlike attaching files in Gmail .. which takes time to upload ...
Example of attaching google maps [click to enlarge]

Also a remarkable feature in Google wave is its playback feature ... you can see the history .. who has told what .. how did the conversation take place. This is pretty cool for someone who has joined late in the conversation ..

And like Outlook (bad comparison though) it has features to arrange mails in folders, also the tagging feature helps you to keep mails (oops... waves i mean) properly. Searching a wave is also very fast...

Robots in wave

Like in Mozilla which is blessed with several gadgets and extensions.. Wave has Robots , that can be added for more features. There are few robots as follows:
--twave ( for tweets
--maps ( for google maps
--bloggy ( for blogs
--eliza ( a robot to chat with if you dont have friends
--polly ( creates a poll
--stocky ( gets you stock updates

Hits n Misses
Google wave is a great communicating tool, and since its open source it will have a promising future...
Its a revolutionary Google product .. that will definitely change the way we communicate... but it will take time to take-off.. as its not at all conventional ...
It has features that can become a great office tool (email client)... and sharing things at lightining speed ... online discussions, polls and loads of other things..

One thing that is a bit irritating is hitting the DONE button everytime to send msg .. there is no short-cut keys ... well this is still in development phase so these things can be ignored...
Can you believe it .. there is no PRINT button ... (cant believe google missing this)

Whats in for you?

--you will need it if it becomes too cluttery in looking those threaded emails .. and you get too confused in reading those mails "who said what" etc ...
--if you extensively are in need of a planning and discussion tool .. for your project reports etc
--if you use lots of social networking websites and get irritated in logging in each one of them to read your scraps or wall msgs ..
--if you post frequently on blogs
-- and if you want all the pleasures of the world at one single place ....

And dont you worry if you havent received the invite. Its better to wait than to use a developing product..

More updates on next post. Keep watching this space...

Happy Waving :)