Google Releases Real-Time Gadget APIs

The Google developer conference has been chock-full of announcements, but one that we are particularly excited about is a “20% time” project from software engineer, Moishe Lettvin. The gadgets.realtime is a Javascript library on top of a collection of APIs based on Google Talk. Right now implementation is limited to Orkut and Google Gadgets, but we’d love to see the framework opened up to the web at large.

The idea is that developers can build mini-applications that can allow real-time user interaction through the instant messaging foundation of Google Talk IM. Lettvin showed off an example of a chess game that was not only discussed over IM but played through an interface with IM-like communication infrastructure running underneath it. That’s pretty hot.

University of Amsterdam student, Sander Dijkhuis, already built a collaborative text editing gadget using one of the APIs and we expect to see more interesting examples emerge shortly. Just picture ease of development plus real-time communication across different installs of little applications. There are lots of things that APIs like that could make possible.

While we’re sure that developers engaged in Google social networks will enjoy these APIs (though Flash is out of the picture, it’s just Javascript) we would love to see them available outside their current confines.

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