Google Wave, an instantaneous/asychronous communication app (Okay, it’s IM+email) has been in beta testing for nearly a month. In that time, we’ve seen a couple “apps” developed for it (although they were really just stripped down browsers that helped Wave to run a little faster).
But these pseudo apps were so well received, apparently, that Google is ready to talk about an app store for Google Wave at the Google Wave Google Technology User Group in London yesterday. What kind of apps would they add to email+IM? Says TheNextWeb:
Already, independent software developers have built and tested Wave applications that handle such tasks as teleconferencing, videoconferencing, and multiplayer gaming, but while the Apple App Store sells software only for the iPhone and Touch, a Wave marketplace could stock in-Wave applications, along with desktop applications, browser extensions and a world of devices, from laptops, phones, tablets and more with built in Wave support.
Earlier this month, Wave co-creator Lars Rasmussen told Business Week, “We’ll almost certainly do a store.” That’s been upgraded to “definitely.” The Wave API has long be available, but support for a store would help developers make money off their efforts. (In the same BW article, Rasmussen mentioned revenue sharing with developers.)
TheNextWeb is very excited about Google’s prospects with apps in both Wave and Android, going so far as to say, “Despite Apple’s success, it is undoubtedly Android who will win on numbers, with developers swayed by Google’s open source values and the openness of the platform as a whole. With an app store specifically for Google Wave however, the potential for something as great, if not greater then than the iPhone App Store is a distinct possibility.”
It’s a possibility, of course, but as things stand now, that’s going to take some time. ComputerWorld says Android devices currently make up 2% of the smartphone market, with Nokia’s Symbian OS running on about half of all smartphones. The iPhone is currently #3 in the market, after Nokia and Blackberry.
These issues of scale are currently not enough to entice most of the iPhone developers I know to learn yet another programming language. By 2012, however, they may change their tune—ComputerWorld says the iPhone will slip—oh, wait, no, remain at the #3 OS slot. Symbian will slip to 39% dominance and all of the various Android devices will just edge out Apple for the #2 slot—by 0.8% of the smartphone market share.
That’s awfully precise for a 2012 prediction. (Should we pull out our “Year of the Mobile” sign again?) Considering that right now the iPhone has over 100,000 apps and Android . . . well, doesn’t, perhaps it’s a bit soon to be calling the iPhone out of the game. Who knows what Apple will do next?
What do you think? Is the iPhone on the way out, and is a Google Wave App store evidence of that? What apps would you like to see for Google Wave?