Last Wednesday, Google announced that it was making Google Wave public. Prior to this, it was an invite-only service, but this announcement opens it up to anyone with a Google account, without any restrictions. Additionally, Google has enabled Wave for Google App users. So, what does this announcement do for Wave?
Back in October, I received an invite for Wave and immediately began testing it out. You can read my review here. As you can see from my initial review, despite a lot of bugs with Wave, I saw a lot of promise and potential. Google claims to have worked the bugs out and Wave is more stable, however, it still lacks the features that I feel would make it an ideal tool. Most notable is the absence of importing Google Docs. As it stands, you can add an attachment, but you can’t import directly into a Wave for collaboration.
Despite lacking this key feature, I still feel that Wave is a powerful collaboration tool - both internally and externally. There have been a number of examples of companies utilizing Wave: Mashable used Wave to interview journalists; Chris Brogan used it to write a book; and it’s been used at conferences. Clearly, there is use for Wave if you think beyond the basic “IM-ish” functions.
Journalists and social nerds aren’t the only ones jumping on the Wave wagon, as large corporations are beginning to see value in Wave as well - SAP StreamWork announced its integration.
One of the coolest and more promising uses of Wave, and one I’m currently testing, is Unawave. What Unawave delivers is a simple and effective work management application that allows for true collaboration. You can share, assign and track tasks, as well as manage documents. Essentially, Unawave brings the ability for collaboration within a collaboration platform. It’s applications like this that hits squarely on the value Wave provides.
Wave is powerful as a stand alone platform, but once you begin to integrate applications and developers begin to take advantage of Wave’s API, it allows for a great tool within a workplace. While there are still some improvements needed for Wave’s core features, it’s nice to see Google sticking with Wave and realizing its potential.