>> Friday, December 11, 2009
Google took a jab at redefining email when they opened Google Wave to the public earlier this year. Tomes and tomes of, well... webpages, were filled with how awesome a product Google Wave is. The entire Internet seemed to be waving and blipping with excitement. This was about redefining email. About changing how you and I interact. About being awesome as always, the Google way.
Don't get me wrong. It's still an awesome product. But I still don't and won't use Google Wave. At least not yet. And here's why:
- It's a void out there: Sure, it's just a selective Beta and there's always the option to use the "with:public" search term to get to the public waves, but do you seriously see yourself talking to a bunch of strangers? Wouldn't you rather just get on and Wave with a friend, or a colleague? The fact that invitations are not being rolled out quickly enough doesn't make the situation any better.
- If I wanted to crawl, I'd have been a snail: I mean seriously, what happened to all the gigahertz goodness I paid for? The moment you get 30 or above wavers onto a Wave, you start noticing a lag. And the system specs don't help (yours truly ran it on a pret-ty powerfuly rig). The best you can do at the moment is use Google Gears alongside your browser. But that only helps a little bit.
- It's for collaboration, not one-to-one communication: The idea was to reinvent email. While that was achieved in more ways than one (and you can call me a conformist for what I say next), I still feel that email exchanges are better off in their current state. I mean, I really don't want real-time messages on my screen when I'm writing to just one person, right? In its present state, Wave is best used when there are minutes to be exchanged between teams, technical documents to be written, or maybe even as live counselling rooms. But the bottom line remains that most of us won't move to a different platform just for dropping a line on our loved ones.
Google Wave has still got a lot of distance to traverse before it's ready for mass-market use. And maybe that's the point of the invitation-only Beta. But somewhere, I do feel Google could have tweaked it some more before unleashing it upon us. That could've been done by means of extra features, or maybe even by expanding the invitation queue to accommodate more people.
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