Have you given Google Wave a try, only to find it difficult to keep up with? Here’s how you can integrate Google Wave with your desktop and workflow with some free and simple apps.
Google Wave is an online web app, and unlike many Google services, it’s not easily integrated with standard desktop applications. Instead, you’ll have to keep it open in a browser tab, and since it is one of the most intensive HTML5 webapps available today, you may notice slowdowns in many popular browsers. Plus, it can be hard to stay on top of your Wave conversations and collaborations by just switching back and forth between the website and whatever else you’re working on. Here we’ll look at some tools that can help you integrate Google Wave with your workflow, and make it feel more native in Windows.
Use Google Wave Directly in Windows
What’s one of the best ways to make a web app feel like a native application? By making it into a native application, of course! Waver is a free Air powered app that can make the mobile version of Google Wave feel at home on your Windows, Mac, or Linux desktop. We found it to be a quick and easy way to keep on top of our waves and collaborate with our friends.
To get started with Waver, open their homepage on the Adobe Air Marketplace (link below) and click Download From Publisher.
Waver is powered by Adobe Air, so if you don’t have Adobe Air installed, you’ll need to first download and install it.
After clicking the link above, Adobe Air will open a prompt asking what you wish to do with the file. Click Open, and then install as normal.
Once the installation is finished, enter your Google Account info in the window.
After a few moments, you’ll see your Wave account in miniature, running directly in Waver. Click a Wave to view it, or click New wave to start a new Wave message. Unfortunately, in our tests the search box didn’t seem to work, but everything else worked fine.
Google Wave works great in Waver, though all of the Wave features are not available since it is running the mobile version of Wave.
You can still view content from plugins, including YouTube videos, directly in Waver.
Get Wave Notifications From Your Windows Taskbar
Most popular email and Twitter clients give you notifications from your system tray when new messages come in. And with Google Wave Notifier, you can now get the same alerts when you receive a new Wave message.
Head over to the Google Wave Notifier site (link below), and click the download link to get started. Make sure to download the latest Binary zip, as this one will contain the Windows program rather than the source code.
Unzip the folder, and then run GoogleWaveNotifier.exe.
On first run, you can enter your Google Account information. Notice that this is not a standard account login window; you’ll need to enter your email address in the Username field, and then your password below it.
You can also change other settings from this dialog, including update frequency and whether or not to run at startup. Click the value, and then select the setting you want from the dropdown menu.
Now, you’ll have a new Wave icon in your system tray. When it detects new Waves or unread updates, it will display a popup notification with details about the unread Waves. Additionally, the icon will change to show the number of unread Waves. Click the popup to open Wave in your browser. Or, if you have Waver installed, simply open the Waver window to view your latest Waves.
If you ever need to change settings again in the future, right-click the icon and select Settings, and then edit as above.
Get Wave Notifications in Your Email
Most of us have Outlook or Gmail open all day, and seldom leave the house without a Smartphone with push email. And thanks to a new Wave feature, you can still keep up with your Waves without having to change your workflow.
To activate email notifications from Google Wave, login to your Wave account, click the arrow beside your Inbox, and select Notifications.
Select how quickly you want to receive notifications, and choose which email address you wish to receive the notifications. Click Save when you’re finished.
Now you’ll receive an email with information about new and updated Waves in your account. If there were only small changes, you may get enough info directly in the email; otherwise, you can click the link and open that Wave in your browser.
Google Wave has great potential as a collaboration and communications platform, but by default it can be hard to keep up with what’s going on in your Waves. These apps for Windows help you integrate Wave with your workflow, and can keep you from constantly logging in and checking for new Waves. And since Google Wave registration is now open for everyone, it’s a great time to give it a try and see how it works for yourself.
Signup for Google Wave (Google Account required)