Google opens Wave to all, adds new features for developers

Google today began pushing its Wave collaboration tool again, hoping to attract both users and developers with new features.

Firstly, for users, Google is dropping the "invitation-only" velvet rope from the collaboration tool, and now anybody can sign up just by going to wave.google.com and logging in with their gmail or Google account.

Just about six months ago, Google opened the beta of Wave to about 100,000 users, and the new tool was swept up by the media and users alike, both of whom struggled to succinctly describe what, exactly, Google Wave was and who it was ideally suited for.

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In the official Wave blog, Stephanie Hannon, Product Manager on the Google Wave Team laid out five situations where Wave comes in handy: Business, Education, Creative Collaboration, Organizations and Conferences, and Journalism, and pushed out a video reminding us why Wave is useful.

For developers, some announcements about Wave were made during Google I/O today. You can now: run robots on any server (not just in App Engine) in the language of your choice; Use a robot to manipulate and retrieve attachments within a wave; "Wave This," which lets visitors to your site create waves out of your content; Fetch waves on behalf of users with Wave data APIs.

Both Wave itself and its APIs are still in Google Labs, because, as Pamela Fox, Developer Relations, on the Google Wave Team said, "We think it's important to stay flexible when creating a whole new paradigm in web based communication and collaboration. We want to be able to respond to your feedback, and we still have a lot left to do to make the vision a reality."

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