Google March 12 launched its extensions for Google Wave, a move to boost the open-source, real-time collaboration platform's functionality with the help of outside application developers. New extensions include trip app Trippy; Mind Map, to let users build visual workflows; Waffle, a time management tool; and Poll, a gadget for taking polls. These apps should come in handy for regular Wave users, who are using Wave for very different purposes, but all in the name of real-time collaboration.
Google March 12 formally launched its extensions for Google Wave, a move to
fortify the real-time collaboration platform's functionality and cultivate a
large developer ecosystem.
Google Wave rolls e-mail, instant messaging and real-time document editing
into one platform, which has grabbed more than 1 million users since its
broader launch last September. Google launched Wave to open source because it
wants developers to write programs that augment that platform in ways that go
beyond Google's own application expertise.
Extensions, added as a link to the Google Wave navigation panel
, are the fruit of this effort. The
Wave Extensions gallery
comprises a set of waves containing extension
installers. This "Read me first
" wave offers a tutorial on how to use
Users can click the Extensions link to see some extension installers, then
click the Install button to add it to their Google Wave interface, where it
will typically appear as an icon in the toolbar, add a dropdown to the New Wave
menu or both.
Users who lost interest in the program can uninstall it from the Settings
link in the navigation panel. See the example here in this blog post
from Google Wave Product Manager Dan Peterson.
Google first introduced extensions for Wave back in September, offering some
ambitious programs from leading vendors. Salesforce.com engineers created an
extension that shows how a mobile phone customer starts a wave with a support
SAP Research invented
Gravity, a prototype of a business process modeling
application for Wave. British Telecom's Ribbit arm has created conferencing and
voice message gadgets for Google Wave. See these prototypes here
But other third-party developers have added nearly another 30 apps since
that time. These include trip planning app Trippy; Mind Map, to let users build
visual workflows; Waffle, a time management tool; and Poll, a gadget for taking
These apps should come in handy for regular Wave users, who are using Wave
for very different purposes, but all in the name of real-time collaboration.
For example, Collaborative debate Website Debatewise.org used
Wave recently to let 1,000 people from more than 130
countries debate issues arising from the Copenhagen climate change conference,
while a radio station in North Carolina is using Wave to plan programming.
Google also wants to instantiate a network effect on Wave, so it recently launched
e-mail notifications. Of course, Google must find
that correct balance between mass adoption and user satisfaction.
The Wave team has been adding management features
to Wave in an effort to cut down on
some of the noise because waves were originally launched as completely public
with anyone able to follow anyone. This was problematic for many users.