Jul 06 AT 1:16 PM Taylor Wimberly 14 Comments

An early look at Google Wave on Android

It has been over a month since Google unveiled their new communications platform Wave.  During the initial presentation Wave was said to be working on Android and iPhone, but we didn’t see much.  We attended Google I/O and were lucky enough to get invites for the developer preview so I thought I would share my experiences.

Let me start by saying this sandbox preview was only meant for developers.  Google wanted to give early access to those who would help build the platform.  My only interest with Wave was how it would work on Android.

In the current stage of development, Wave is almost unusable on Android.  When signing in from your phone, you are greeted with a warning that your browser is not fully supported.  On the first use, Google Gears also prompts you to install some files on your phone to speed up performance.

From the moment you login, the overall slowness begins.  Navigating between different screens takes over 30 seconds.  Occasionally the browser will just freeze and then Wave reports it has crashed and needs to start over.  I hooked my phone to my PC to see if I could get a better feel for why it was so slow.  Looking at the logs revealed the phone was constantly running out of memory and trying to close all processes.

If you were expecting Wave to open this year, don’t hold your breath.  The platform obviously has a long way to go before it is ready.  In the current form, I would not expect to see it before 2010.

In case you missed the whole Wave announcement, you can watch the presentation video below.

If you would like to request an invite for Wave, fill out their sign up form.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://www.nexsoftware.net nEx.Software

    Good assessment. Since I cannot even get Wave to work well on my PC at this point, I haven’t even ventured to try it on my Android devices. From your assessment, I can tell that it is not yet time to try it.

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  • http://www.androidtapp.com AndroidTapp.com

    Sad ;-(

    Google never sent my info from the invite signed up for when Wave unveiled. Hopelessly waiting…

  • http://clarklab.net Clark

    It feels like blasphemy to speak out against Google, but here goes. Wave may have been over hyped. I’m sure it can still blossom into something totally useful and amazing, but at this stage is mostly useless. I’ve logged in a few times for a few minutes each time before logging out and not returning.

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  • http://SynergyKettlebellKamp.com Bob Garon

    What IS it? I’m kind of confused about it.

    Thanks

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  • http://www.thewayoftheunplugged.com/archives/nerd-vs-world/229/ Michal

    @Bob Gardon:
    It’s basically a conversation as you would have it on Facebook, but in a more protected environment. No more over-size attachment and so on because it is hosted.

    When it comes to mobile, I think Google Wave will be great for project collaboration and freelance outsourcing; without having to sit in front of your computer, the Unplugged way!

    Like so:
    http://www.thewayoftheunplugged.com/archives/nerd-vs-world/229/

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  • Roger

    @Michal, you’re very wrong about “in a more protected environment”…in fact, it is a very “un protected” environment. One of the many flaws of the Wave design is its lack of meaningful access controls and content security. Another is the performance implications of its design. It is also horrifically lacking in the ability to produce very rich content (unless you use Gadgets, which defeat the purpose anyway – turns Wave into YAP – yet another portal). Lastly, it has the potential to become the most productive spam machine ever, as a result of the way groups and robot have been currently architected.

    Summary: interesting and innovative concept, poorly architected, engineered, and implemented (on both client and server). Hopefully they haven’t locked up a bunch of lame and broad patents, and other can implement better approaches to the problem without raising the ire of Google’s lawyers.

  • Neil

    @Roger
    It seems to me that these sorts of complaint and grievances are exactly why Google floated devs such an early and unpolished version of Wave. Giving this lead time is an excellent way to develop a feedback loop between internal and external development, and gives those with an eye for code and architecture the greatest amount of time and ability to note the changes that need to be made before the program sees general release. I’m personally very optimistic in regards to the (somewhat) final result of such a process. Have patience, and be proactive :)

  • jamesyb0i

    it’s really laggy if you’ve got alot of public waves open, and it’s unusable on android, wont open any waves

  • http://Website Forex

    Andy, a very interesting post thanks for writing it! (added by Mobile using Mippin)