Google Wave – first impression

Google Wave - LogoI was so lucky to get an invitation to try out Google Wave, so I thought I would share my impressions.

First of the layout looks very similar to any regular e-mail inbox. However, the difference quickly becomes evident as soon as I started navigating around this new idea of communication.

Google Wave is the first serious attempt to get ridge og the old fashion e-mail system.

My first thoughts on waveing was that it is quite cool. It seems to me that it combines different kinds of communication from which it brings the best. In a way waveing (when you send a mail using Google Wave) is at best comparable if you imagine you self to be sitting with whomever you communicate with but instead of talking you would be write on the same document. Though of course waveing comes bundled with a bunch of features and utilities like the possibility of editing, adding comments, and much more. All the participants of the wave seems to have the same possibility.

Screenshots.

Google Wave - InboxGoogle Wave - AllGoogle Wave - By MeGoogle Wave - By Me - ExtensionsGoogle Wave - Settings

Who will benefit from using Google Wave?

Well I would say everybody but in particular people who work in groups, who live far apart or in any other have to share information. So in summary all can use google wave.

Will this remove the need for e-mail?

No, I don’t think so, at least not for the next decade or so. Governments around the world, as well as bank institutions and other inetitions have only just recently caught up and started using the email. I also think that there will continue to be a need for being able to send uneditable documents. That being said I certainly think that e-mails one day will be replaced by a more effective system that will be better in terms of usage, administration and more up to date than the current system.

Features

  • Basic
    • Starting a wave – it can be either a document and a conversation
    • Replying to a wave – it is possible to reply anywhere in a wave
    • Editing waves – all participants ‘riding’ the wave can edit any part of the wave, at the same time.
  • Working with waves
    • Playback – is a feature that allows you to see all the history of a wave in a scrollbar
    • Extensions – according to Google Wave Help Center extensions should allow users to add rich content, interactions and other features to waves. So far there is only a few extensions, however, there will probably soon be numerous.
    • Attaching files – As far as I can tell it is possible to upload almost anything. I just tried uploading a holiday movie, which was about 700MB and there was no complaints there. This is really nice, as the current limit of normal e-mails is below 25MB for most systems.
    • Spelling correction – the spelling correction in google wave uses the context of the message to correct errors.
    • Arranging panels – like any regular layout, google wave layout is also editable for your satisfaction and ease of use.
  • Organizing waves
    • Clearing inbox – now this was a real concern for me, as I like to clean the inbox often. In Google Waves you have two main ways of removing waves: Archive, which takes a wave out of the inbox until someone updates it (very smart imo), and Mute: which takes a wave out of your inbox and only comes back if someone adds a private message to you. According to Google it is always possible to find the waves again by searching for them. Which also means that nothing can be deleted, and Im not sure if I like that.
    • Search for waves – pretty self explanatory
    • Save searches – much like smart folders on iTunes, it is possible to save searches to be able to find a set of waves quickly.
    • Tagging – all participants of a wave can add or remove tags to a wave.
    • Folders – You can make a folder and drag’n’drop your waves into them.
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