Over the years, Google has had some pretty amazing ideas. Google Maps has revolutionized the way we travel, Gmail has changed the way we communicate, and Android has taken the smartphone world by storm. One thing that really never caught on, though, was the Google Wave service.
At first it sounded cool: on AIM or Google Talk, you’d always be able to see that whoever was chatting with you was in the middle of typing something. Instead, Google Wave allowed conversations to exist in real-time, with no more waiting in anticipation as the person on the other end typed away. This, theoretically, would speed up conversations, leading to more productivity and less time just staring at the screen, waiting for a reply.
Unfortunately, Google Wave is no more. Google had this to say today on their blog on the subject:
Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects. The central parts of the code, as well as the protocols that have driven many of Wave’s innovations, like drag-and-drop and character-by-character live typing, are already available as open source, so customers and partners can continue the innovation we began. In addition, we will work on tools so that users can easily “liberate” their content from Wave.
Wave has taught us a lot, and we are proud of the team for the ways in which they have pushed the boundaries of computer science. We are excited about what they will develop next as we continue to create innovations with the potential to advance technology and the wider web.
We wave goodbye to Google Wave, those of us who used it. Those who didn’t shall carry on emailing, IMing, Tweeting, Facebooking and texting as usual.