A Day of a Student with Google Wave

(note: this is a guest post from Simon, one of the winners in a contest we recently held)

07:00 – Wake up

It’s seven in the morning, time to prepare for a brand new day at school. Let’s check last night’s updates, right from the bed thanks to the iPhone interface. Wow, yesterday’s party pics has been published on the class wave ! I can watch them in fullscreen through the slideshow mode, and even download them all later to keep them on my pc.

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14:00 – Free Time

Hey, a friend has just started a yes/no question for a bowling ! Of course I’m in ! I can even add a little message, for example to tell everyone I come with my brother.

I also discovered some great stuff with Rssybot. I can share them in just a couple of clicks.

If I’m bored, I can always have fun in Wave with several cool extensions like Wave Sudoku.

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17:00 – Back home

With Wave, everybody keeps connected after school. It like a mix between a big chat and a shoutbox. Everyone discuss with everyone, but we are always together. Even if you’re not online, you can still follow what happened with the Playback feature. It make communications way easier between us than before. No more grouped mails and single answers, no more multi-chats with half of people missing… But if you still want to talk with your Live Messenger buddies, you can right inside a wave through a dedicated bot.

Google Wave can serve as an enhanced dropbox, where you can both chat, share informations, but also files ! An simple drag-n-drop automatically uploads the files you want to share.

Many People seem to come to the bowling tonight. As several people are unfamiliar with the neighborhood, I add a map inside the wave.

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22:00 – Party time !

During the night, I can at every moment post my feelings on Twitter and keep those you couldn’t come up to date, right inside Wave web app in my phone !

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OK, all that was maybe a little utopian for now, and yes I’m still the only in my class to have my Google Wave access… But I may be the daily basis for many people in a few years ! Wave clearly have an amazing potential, and could be able to replace current instant messaging softwares, protocols and habits. It could open a new way for sharing and opening to the world.

How to print from Google Wave

It’s kind of sad that this post even needs to be written.  How to print?  Seriously.  Yeah, go try it and then come back.

Not fun, is it?  There’s no printing options in Wave, the default printing from your browser results in a huge mess, and copy/paste to another application destroys your formatting.  While I’m sure printing (or export to PDF) is on the list of tasks for the Wave team, we’ve come up with a decent solution in the meantime:

Step 1 – Use Firefox.  Google Chrome works great for Wave, but Firefox is needed for this trick.
Step 2 – Install the “User Agent Switcher” extension for Firefox.
Step 3 – Once installed (and you restart Firefox), go to [Tools] –> [Default User Agent] and choose “iPhone 3.0”.
Step 4 – Fire up Google Wave.

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You’ll find yourself in the iPhone formatted version of Wave, which we discussed earlier.  Click on a wave to pull it up, and it’ll all show up on one screen.  Printing from your browser should now work pretty well.

Leaving the Agent on iPhone 3.0 will make a lot of sites look odd, so be sure to switch it back to “Default User Agent” when you’re done.

I’ll admit, it’s not a perfect solution.  I expect Google will have a proper solution in place before too long.  In the meantime, it’s a very useful workaround.  I hope you find it helpful!

How to run Google Wave on your iPhone

As many of you have figured out, Google Wave runs reasonably well on the iPhone.  It gives a warning screen that it’s “not a supported browser”, but you can bypass that and it’ll run happily on your phone.  It can be a bit quirky and it’s missing some of the fancy features of the normal version of Wave, but it works pretty well.  However, there are a few tricks to help it run even better.

Save it as an app-like shortcut

With any web site, you can click the (+) button in your browser and “Add to Home Screen”.  This creates an icon on the desktop that takes you directly to that site.  For most sites, it opens Safari and loads the site in there, making it less than useful.  However, some sites are written in such a way that when you click the icon, it opens without the browser wrapper and runs quite well!  The Wave team has built this feature it, so try it with Wave and see what happens.

app-itUse App It

Taking that a step further, you can use the AppIt.us site to fire up Wave.  AppIt works similarly to the Wave shortcut, in that it runs in a clean version of Safari.  However, it gives you quick access to all of the Google Mobile sites — Gmail, Calendar, Docs, etc, including Wave.  It’s quite a handy little icon to use.

To add it to your phone:

  • Visit AppIt.us on your iPhone browser
  • Click the (+) icon at the bottom of the screen
  • Choose the middle option — “Add to Home Screen”

Now you’ll have an “AppIt” icon on your iPhone screen.  It’ll run and feel just like a normal app that you’d download, and give you easy access to Wave.

I’d expect that that mobile performance of Wave will improve greatly in the coming months.  Even so, I’m quite impressed with how well it runs already.

Google Wave apps for iPhone and Android

In addition to the great stuff we’ve already seen, there are mobile apps that appear to be quite far along in their development.  In this video, Google showcases their Android and iPhone apps.  They run into a bit of trouble, but the potential with these is very obvious: