There are a zillion conversations going on about what current sites or functions that Google Wave will be killing-off: Twitter, Friendfeed, Content Management Systems, Learning Management Systems (we can only hope), email, blah blah blah... Let me be the millionth person to say, all-or-none-of-the-above. Who really knows?
I tried Wave from my iPhone this morning and was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked, and how easy it was to get around. To me, this kind of puts a nail in "the interface is so difficult and complex that my grandmother will never use it" argument. If it works on an iPhone how difficult can it be?
When I first fired-up Wave up on the iPhone I was presented with this screen:
I absolutely loved that message, and clicked on go ahead. I logged into Wave with no problem and was presented with my Wave inbox. I then had the tough decision, what to do next? I opted for posting a tweet that would once again rub-in the fact that I had a Wave account, and was getting to have all this fun while the rest of you waited impatiently for your invites. With little effort I was able to navigate to my personal folder and selected my wave for sending stuff to Twitter (a wave that includes the Tweety bot). It was that easy:
It was here, however, that it failed to work. I couldn't get a cursor to go in the Tweety text box. So I couldn't get an iPhone keyboard to enter my tweet. I could place text elsewhere in the blip but not where I needed it. Regardless, I did see the potential for what Wave might become. I also knew that I was using something that I had been cautioned was perhaps not ready for prime time so my expectations were not too high. It was actually much better than I had anticipated.
I'm thinking Wave has the potential to become your interface to just about everything. People are busy building bots to talk to just about every service you can imagine. For many of us we'll be using Wave in custom applications, and we may not even realize we're using it. For others, the native Wave interface could become the place where we spend the bulk of our online time. It definitely needs to get better, but for such a new application what's there right now isn't at all bad. I can definitely see the potential.
I've already been a part of many conversations where people are saying that Wave is a time sinkhole and/or productivity killer. It wouldn't be a sinkhole if conversations and other compelling things weren't taking place there. This is happening with only a small number of users. I can't imagine what this will be like when the folks in my social network all have accounts. When everyone is using it, and has it open all the time (like I do now) Wave has the potential to be our gateway to the entire Internet. There will be no reason to go anywhere else.