Google Shared Spaces is a collaborative application that contains gadgets based upon the now defunct Google Wave technology.Show more screenshots »
Google ditched Wave in August 2010, citing weak adaption by users. They resurrected the technology in Shard Spaces in December 2010.
The apps offered on Google Shared Spaces seem to be recycled from its Google Wave project. The widgets are free, but very limited and glitchy.
To create a space, users are offered a number of gadgets to begin with. A yes/no gadget for gauging interest or RSVP; a mapping tool; drawing board; waffle (apparently for voting on event details); shared Sudoku; Mind mapping tool; trip planning; list makers; and more.
Users choose a theme, create a space, and use a link to refer others to the space for collaboration. Collaborators may also be informed via email, Buzz, Twitter, or embedded website link. Each space is separate, so one cannot add multiple widgets to one space.
For the purposes of review, two boards were created. The Sodoku game was leveled at simple with no apparent way to change the level when starting a game. Navigating away from the page with an unfinished puzzle erased the current progress. The board level increased after a successfully completed game and it automatically toggled between easy and intermediate this cannot be changed. One tester was unable to access the chat feature via either Twitter or Google.
The Draw Board widget provides a very basic drawing tool. Users can choose color, eraser, brush size, text input, resize, and undo. There is no fill tool. It was disconcerting that the drawing brush was actually the text input cursor rather than an arrow or brush when depressed. Collaborators can see others’ input after it is completed, but not while it is actually being drawn. Some users had difficulty getting the chat feature to work on this board as well.
In general, the widgets are fun, but very limited based on this sampling. Other widgets were explored with similar results. Often they proved more frustrating than fun. Google Wave was a failure. Did these widgets have anything to do with it?
Users may sign in with Google, Twitter, or Yahoo! IDs.
Google Shared Spaces is free to use.
People looking for very simple and occasionally frustrating games, planning tools, productivity apps, and poll creators can give this app a try. Many of the widgets are alternatives to paid versions of apps, but there are glitches and limitations to deal with.