Aaron Sumner


My issues with Google Wave

So I've had my Google Wave account for at least a month now. So far I'm underwhelmed. Part of me thinks it's just me, and that I've reached that point in my life when new technology confuses and frightens me; but the other part of me thinks I'm just the only one who's willing to admit there are a lot of features in this application that are either half-baked or flat-out don't make sense. So here's my list of gripes:

  1. Lack of invites. I got my Wave invite (for which I'm grateful) from a first-round invitee; as a result I get no invitations of my own to hand out. I know the Wave team has their reasons, but this does little to help me use this new tool in my day-to-day life. My contacts list in Wave is cool and all, but they're not the people with whom I need to find a better way to collaborate. Google, if you could give me even two invitations to hand out, I could really put Wave through its paces.
  2. Jumping from account to account. This is mildly petty, I'll admit--but I have multiple Google accounts. I'm sure I'm not the only one. One's for work (for Analytics usage) and one's for personal/extracurricular use. If I'm logged in with my work account, though, Wave redirects me to a page telling me that I can't use Wave because it's a closed beta or whatever. No option to log out and log back in--I need to go to the Google homepage or some other Google property, log out from there, and then head back to Wave. I was hoping that using Wave through a site-specific browser via Fluid would take care of this, but apparently they use the same cookie information.
  3. No notifications. Sorry, but in this early adoption phase I'm going to go days--or weeks--without new activity on my Wave account, I'm not going to keep a window open at all times. (I don't even keep an e-mail client open more than a few minutes per hour these days.) Google, I know you're trying to replace e-mail here, but it ain't happened yet. I'd like to get some notification via e-mail, Twitter, SMS, or something. If I can add this kind of thing to a web app in a few minutes, by myself, it shouldn't be too tough for Google to add to Wave. Should it?
  4. It's slow. OK, it's not slow for a web-based, Javascript-enabled application. Hell, maybe it's not that slow at all from a technical standpoint, but watching collaborators' responses in real time borderlines on painful. I want to complete peoples' sentences because I can type so much faster than they can (and I can't type that fast). Google, I know the real-time typing is a cool whiz-bang feature, but is it practical? I read something the other day that this feature was axed from the original iChat-over-Bonjour feature because it drove people nuts. Can we turn it off, or something?

I think some of these issues might be overcome by a native (non-web) client. Any word on that?

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