[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wu3uz5KLedw]YouTube - WaveBoard - iPhone Google Wave Client Demo[/ame]
video via GetWaveBoard.com
Google Wave is a new real-time collaboration tool under development by the geniuses at Google Labs. Access to the service is still invitation-only, but if you are one of the lucky few there is a new iPhone client that is pending release on the App Store: Waveboard, which is a native iPhone port of the Waveboard desktop client.
Google describes Wave as "an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration." Though we've seen such marketing buzz before about everything from Lotus Notes to Skype, what makes Wave interesting and potentially a breakout product is its support for rich media in a platform-independent, standards-based approach. And though it will work in any web browser that supports HTML 5, being able to operate it in a lightweight, standalone app should make it quicker and easier to work with.
"Waves" (Firefly fans will recognize the reference) are essentially shared, editable XML documents. As distinct from an email, if you're on a wave you can reply anywhere in the message as well as edit it, and all participants can watch in real time, letter by letter, as changes are made. In this way it merges email, instant messaging and something like a wiki. Like wiki documents, waves can link to other waves and changes can be played back in order like wiki history.
The technology is obviously in its infancy and until it reaches wide distribution there's no way to know if this will be significant or not . But the fact that it is being developed by Google is one indication that it will have strong engineering support as it matures and be spread to the widest possible audience. After all, when GMail came out, everybody though it was just another Hotmail.
Waveboard's developer suggests interested users follow his Twitter (@holtwick) for notification of when the app is released.