Google Wave invite, then you probably don't have too much use for Waveboard, an iPhone-ready interface for Google's new real-time collaboration system. However, if you've recently become a member of the Google Wave cult, you may have already forked over the 99 cents for this mobile app so that you could create, browse and respond to "waves" while on the go.If you're not one of the fortunate few to have gotten your hands on a
While some early testers of the Waveboard app complained that it didn't do anything more than what the iPhone optimized website already offered, the next release of Waveboard may have those naysayers changing their mind. Waveboard 2.0 has a few new features, but the one that will grab everyone's attention is its ability to offer "push" notifications on the iPhone.
According to a post on the GetWaveboard blog, the next edition of the Waveboard application (iTunes link) has been submitted to Apple and is now awaiting App Store approval. This process usually takes a few weeks, but in the meantime a couple of video previews let us see what's to come.
One of the new features of Waveboard 2.0 is something called the "Quick Inbox" view. Since Google Wave loads a little slowly on the iPhone - something developer Dirk Holtwick says is out of his hands - he's come up with a workaround for a speedier launch. The new "quick inbox" feature offers a fast-loading overview that displays the waves that have changed, as you can see in the following video:
Even more exciting, perhaps, is the push notifications feature. In addition to displaying a badge on the app's icon showing the number of new waves, the push notifications feature will tap into the iPhone's ability to display pop-up alerts on your device. As new text is entered into a wave, the iPhone will display the additional text in a push notification message:
Of course, depending on the number of waves you're involved in and how heavily they're used, this feature could easily become an annoyance. Unfortunately, Google offers few control mechanisms for managing the waves you belong to at the moment - something that could lead to serious information overload for Wave users. For example, anyone can add you to a wave - even without your permission. This can lead to an inbox crowded with waves that you don't really care about following. For some, this feature is a key selling point for Wave, but for others it's just a chaos-inducing mess. That may change in future, though, when Google implements the "whitelisting" feature, which will allow users to create an approved list of fellow wavers, and only people on that list will be able to contact you.
There's no word yet on if or how you'll be able to manage the new push notifications feature in the app's settings. If there were configuration options that let you exclude some waves (like public ones, for example), then it would be even more useful.
In any event, the app will now have some value-added features that make it worth the $0.99. Stay tuned to the GetWaveboard blog in the coming days for more details on the new features and how they work.