Google opens up Wave, adds it to Apps

News 20 May, 2010

Google has ended the 'invite only' phase of its Wave system, letting businesses using Apps add it to their lineup.

Google has opened up its Wave collaboration tool, integrating it into Google Apps for businesses, too.

Users will no longer need an invite to join Wave. When the service first launched earlier this year, many were desperate for invites, even paying out on eBay to get a look.

However, many weren't entirely sure what to do with Wave, a fact Google seems aware of, according to a blog post by Wave product manager Stephanie Hannon.

"If you tried Google Wave out a while ago, and found it not quite ready for real use, now is a good time to come back for a second try," wrote Hannon. "Wave is much faster and much more stable than when we began the preview, and we have worked hard to make Wave easier to use."

Changes include email notifications when a wave is updated, new navigation, and permissions management. Whether that will be enough to draw back those disappointed by their first look remains to be seen.

Now in Google Apps

Any organisations using Google Apps can now add Wave to their lineup of tools, too.

Google believes Wave could be a good collaboration tool, especially for small teams of workers, noted product manager Greg D'Alesandre in a blog post.

"Next time you need to create consensus among a small team as you create content together, consider test driving Google Wave," he said.

"Since we began previewing Google Wave last fall, we’ve consistently heard that Wave shines in small group settings where teams need to discuss and debate as they create content together, like developing an engineering project plan, creating a trip itinerary or building an event invitation list," he noted.

We asked Google how many people were using Wave at the moment, but have yet to hear back.

Any admin who wants to let their users try out Wave should head to the control panel and click 'Add More Services', where Wave will be an option. Check out the Google video below for more:

Keep in mind that Wave is still in development in Google Labs, so there's limited support for it.

Read on for our review of Google Wave.