Recent data reveals that the Google Chrome Browser has overtaken Apple’s Safari and Opera to become the third most used browser worldwide, eclipsed by only Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox. Google’s HTC-made Nexus One phone is about to hit market with their own Android smart phone operating system. With large business announcements such as these, and a knack for getting its way, it seems natural that the tech giant now takes aim at a system it considers antiquated: email.
With the specific intention of replacing conventional email across all markets, Google debuted their new service, Google Wave, in May 2009. Part email, part instant messaging, part social networking and part wiki, Google Wave presents a protocol whereby users can alter a “Wave” together. Into the Wave, users can recruit others, drag and drop images and videos, type and edit text and documents, and track the entire history of a Wave as made by users.
Incredibly, all of this can be done in real-time, including immediate translation between more than 40 languages. Depending on the number of active users within the wave, it may resemble a highly tracked email, or something more like an instant messaging conversation.
Google is backing Wave protocol with its legendary business acumen across all areas: Android based phones and the iphone will support Wave applications, the platform will be open-source with hopes of other companies adopting and modifying the new standard, and Wave will integrate with Google gadgets and user-created applications.
Given the frustration associated with incorporating many people into lengthy and messy email chains, Google Wave is poised to overtake email as the dominant communications protocol, especially where group projects are concerned.
Ken Cummings is an honours B.Sc. student in his final year of undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga. The areas in which he has focused include Biology and Socio-Cultural Anthropology, the latter through which he enjoys examining contemporary human cultures. Ken is currently investigating Master’s programs and exploring his interest in photography.