Google Wave is a brand new communication tool that’s just been unveiled, and it promises to bring everything from email to Facebook, Twitter and beyond in to one browser pane and merge them seamlessly. It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s supremely powerful.
Google’s I/O conference for developers has been taking place in the States this week, and along with some major predictions for Android, Google’s unveiled a powerful new platform, Google Wave, that brings every type of messaging under one roof.
Google Wave works on the premise that email is old fashioned (And it is decades old): instead of being limited to text directed to specific people in advance, you can now send Waves. They’re like tweets, emails and collaborative documents combined, which can be edited in realtime, and later people invited to view them can look back at what’s been happening already. You can send out event invitations, play games, and - one in the eye for Facebook - drag and drop photos into a Wave straight from your hard drive: thumbnails appear in the conversations instantly, with the pictures loading quickly behind them.
All your Google contacts are available on the left hand side (You can bring in other contacts too), and you can drag and drop participants in a Google Wave conversation. You can even see people’s messages being typed out letter by letter, so you can reply even faster.
It’s similar to what programs like Seesmic Desktop are doing by bringing Twitter and Facebook accounts into one window, but it’s all in your browser (Yup, that means Mac support), and offers far more scope. Google has just opened up the API for developers, meaning that all sorts of services can be synced with Google Wave - and it can be embedded just about anywhere too. There’s already a Twitter gadget for it called Twave, and you can bet everything from Digg to The Telegraph will be jostling to get in on it, while it threatens to make old fashioned forums completely and utterly obsolete.
Will it work? It’s made by the engineers behind Google Maps, so you know what they’re capable of. Google Wave will be out later this year, but if you just can’t wait, the whole Google Wave unveiling and demo video is below for you to watch. It’s pretty lengthy (80 minutes), but well worth a watch: this could be as big as email one day.
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