Nine new apps that show off the power of Google Wave

Because Wave uses a popular IM protocol, a tsunami of developers are already working on add-on apps.

Invitations to Google Wave were sent to 10,000 people this week and the hype machine has begun. Some are calling Google Wave revolutionary. Others aren't going so far, but do say that its integrated approach to social networking and business communications will be at least helpful. It's not the first app to tackle this. Digsby is a great little tool that integrates your instant messaging, social networks (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) and e-mail.

But Wave does more than Digsby in that it lets user create documents, called Waves, that embed content, multimedia and every form of communication you can think of into the Wave itself. More importantly, Wave is Google's baby, and because of that, it is bound to succeed on some level, simply because of the scope of Google's influence. Earlier this week, the Google Wave development team announced that so far 27,000 developers have been dinking with prototype Wave apps.

Wave is based on an extension of the XMPP protocol, the same XML streaming protocol that was developed by Jabber to power Google Talk, Gizmo5 and other instant messaging networks since 1999. XMPP is fast, secure and extensible. (Cisco bought Jabber about a year ago ... so maybe I'll have to revise my opinion that Cisco would not be happy about mass adoption of Wave if Wave, which creates a peer-to-peer networking scheme, turned the network into dumb pipes, moving intelligence into devices that sit far up the stack from Cisco's pricey network gear.)

Hence Wave has an instant community of thousands of developers familiar with its innards. After a single developer day (August 7), Google has already begun to showcase a handful of useful Wave apps. These range from consumer-oriented games to the enterprise-focused business process. Here's a rundown:

Labpixies Sudoku Puzzles

Ribbit's telephone conference calls

6-rounds's vide chat app

Lonely Planet's intinerary mapping app, Trippy


AccuWeather weather gadget

Google's Maps as a collaborative experience

SAP's Gravity for realtime business process modeling extension that supports customer interaction through a Wave client

and MediaWikiWave's Wiki app.


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