The Problem With Google Wave

Update: Apparently I jumped the gun. Google also showed off mobile versions of Google Wave for both Android and the iPhone. You can see the video below. While this is great, I’m still not 100% satisfied. Mobile access for an elite number of users is not going to bring this new idea to most people anytime soon. I understand that Google Wave is largely implemented with HTML5, which I confess, I need to read more about. From what I have read, Google believes this is vastly superior to email, IM, and other online communication tools, and will eventually replace them. If it’s limited to a few specific platforms, it will not replace anything.

http://vms.slashgear.tv/sgtv/sgtv_player.swf

Google just announced its new communication….product/platform/idea, called Wave. You can read all about it here. It all sounds cool, and looks really intuitive, but it lacks a single major issue, as far as I can tell – mobile.

Mobile internet is, without question, the future of internet. In emerging markets, there is no wired infrastructure – everything is wireless for data, which means that there’s no reason to get a full-fledge laptop, or worse, a desktop computer. With mobile devices, such as cell phones and tablets becoming cheaper, with longer battery life, and better web browsers, the computer will quickly become obsolete. In more established markets, such as the U.S. or Europe, mobile internet frees people up to step away from the desk and work from elsewhere. Several decades ago, when computers were invented, and the Internet close behind, we became a less mobile generation, finding all sorts of things to do and see without leaving the comfort of our desk.

However, now that the Internet, with Web 2.0, is allowing us to connect and create in new ways again, we’re remembering how cool it was to GO, and DO THINGS. Mobile internet allows us to do so, but to share that with friends, as well.

Of course, there will still be a large number of the population who is just fine to sit at home, alone, staring at a monitor all day. But the uber-connected folks will want to be, well, connecting, with real people. Any new communication service that’s not enabling mobile internet is going to be limited, without question.

So while Google Wave certainly looks sweet, if it’s not able to be translated into a mobile service, its real utility is vastly limited.

UPDATE: Apparently I’ve missed part of the presentation, mobile will be supported by Google Wave. Interesting.

Published by rcadden

Just a dude with a phone.

10 thoughts on “The Problem With Google Wave

  1. No matter how you slice it, this will not be a replacement for IM and email, period. IM and email are about communicating, not collaborating, for 90% of the people that use them. While I totally applaud the expansion of new collaboration tools on the web, this isn’t exactly a new idea — just a refinement of existing ideas that other companies have done in the past (Microsoft Sharepoint Portal comes to mind). Saying you are going to displace email somehow implies you have a better way of communicating. But again, I come back to this: communication and collaboration are not the same thing, and this largely addresses the latter, not the former.

  2. No matter how you slice it, this will not be a replacement for IM and email, period. IM and email are about communicating, not collaborating, for 90% of the people that use them. While I totally applaud the expansion of new collaboration tools on the web, this isn’t exactly a new idea — just a refinement of existing ideas that other companies have done in the past (Microsoft Sharepoint Portal comes to mind). Saying you are going to displace email somehow implies you have a better way of communicating. But again, I come back to this: communication and collaboration are not the same thing, and this largely addresses the latter, not the former.

  3. @ollysk2

    Microsoft Sharepoint is very expensive and ( obviously ) Windows only. You may be missing the larger picture in two parts;

    1) Wave is Open Source ( free as in beer ) and OS agnostic ( runs in all modern browsers that support HTML5 ). If the LAMP stack has taught us anything, a liberal license and low friction always lead to adoption. The LAMP stack now powers more web servers than Windows solely because of how easy it is to get, implement and maintain.

    2) Wave is just a single instance/example of the power of HTML5. As of today, OS specific application development is dead and antiques like Microsoft Office, SharePoint and Silverlight have lost all meaning ( and function as cash cow ).

    Wave *is* a replacement for email and IM ( and wikis too ) because of HTML5.

    P.S. Ricky here’s Wave running on mobile:

  4. @ollysk2

    Microsoft Sharepoint is very expensive and ( obviously ) Windows only. You may be missing the larger picture in two parts;

    1) Wave is Open Source ( free as in beer ) and OS agnostic ( runs in all modern browsers that support HTML5 ). If the LAMP stack has taught us anything, a liberal license and low friction always lead to adoption. The LAMP stack now powers more web servers than Windows solely because of how easy it is to get, implement and maintain.

    2) Wave is just a single instance/example of the power of HTML5. As of today, OS specific application development is dead and antiques like Microsoft Office, SharePoint and Silverlight have lost all meaning ( and function as cash cow ).

    Wave *is* a replacement for email and IM ( and wikis too ) because of HTML5.

    P.S. Ricky here’s Wave running on mobile:

  5. Wave shouldn’t be thought of as *a* service or *an* application. Its a bit of both an neither at the same time. Its more or less some rules with an API that runs in an instance of HTML5 (which doesn’t need a browser, but needs a rendering engine).

    Its something that almost builds on what Palm has done with webOS; the blocks that make the Web are made to act more like a web than as a series of networked points.

  6. Wave shouldn’t be thought of as *a* service or *an* application. Its a bit of both an neither at the same time. Its more or less some rules with an API that runs in an instance of HTML5 (which doesn’t need a browser, but needs a rendering engine).

    Its something that almost builds on what Palm has done with webOS; the blocks that make the Web are made to act more like a web than as a series of networked points.

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