Once you're active in Google Wave, you want to know if something new is happening there--even if you don't have Wave open in your web browser. Several Wave notifier applications and browser add-ons can do the work of checking your Wave inbox for you, and letting you know you've got new and changed waves.
Google Wave Add-on for Firefox
If you use Mozilla's popular web browser, Firefox, the Google Wave Add-on puts a Wave icon on the status bar at the bottom of your browser window. That icon displays alerts when you've got new, unread waves and keeps a running total of how many unread changes you've got in your inbox. Click on the icon to open Wave in a new tab for quick access. Set your Wave login information in the extensions's Options dialog, as shown in Figure 9-1.
Figure 9-1. The Google Wave Add-on for Firefox adds a Wave icon on the status bar of your web browser, which displays the number of unread and changed waves in your inbox.
Download the Google Wave Add-on for Firefox at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/14973. As of writing, the extension is listed as "experimental," which means it hasn't been reviewed by the Mozilla Add-ons editors. Check the box next to "Let me install this experimental add-on" to download and install it in your copy of Firefox.
Googsystray for Windows and Linux
If you'd rather get Wave notifications outside of your browser, Googsystray is a system tray utility for Windows and Linux that plays a sound when new waves arrive and displays unread wave notifications in the corner of your screen, as shown in Figure 9-2.
Figure 9-2. Googsystray plays an alert sound and displays a notification of new and changed waves in your system tray.
Click a Wave notification to open the unread wave directly in your browser. Googsystray is particularly useful if you're an all-around Google lover, as it also offers Gmail, Google Voice, Google Calendar, and Google Reader notifications. Download Googsystray for free from http://googsystray.sourceforge.net/.
Google Wave Notifier for Windows
Don't need all the bells, whistles, and multi-service support of Googsystray? The aptly named Google Wave Notifier is a Windows system tray utility that, like the others, alerts you of new and changed waves with unread content in a pop-up box and icon, as shown in Figure 9-3.
Figure 9-3. The Google Wave Notifier adds a Wave icon in the Windows system tray that displays the total number of new and unread waves in your inbox.
Like Googsystray, you can click on an alert to open the new wave directly. Download the Google Wave Notifier for free from http://wave-notify.sourceforge.net/.
Waveboard with Growl Notifications for Mac OS X
Mac users who want Wave notifications should try Waveboard. Waveboard is a free, standalone Wave client that adds a Waveboard icon with your total of unread waves on Mac OS X's menu bar and Dock. Waveboard also provides pop-up Growl notifications, as shown in Figure 9-4.
Figure 9-4. Waveboard for Mac OS X displays an icon with the total of unread waves on the menu bar and Dock, as well as Growl notifications.
XMPP Lite for Google Talk and AIM
Unlike the other notifier apps and add-ons listed here, the XMPP Lite bot is a solution that you put to work directly inside the specific waves you want to receive updates from. If you add the XMPP Lite bot to a wave and then click the subscribe button in the blip it adds, you'll receive IM updates when that wave changes.
Figure 9-5. The XMPP Lite bot adds a blip with a Subscribe and Unsubscribe button to a wave. Click the Subscribe button to opt into instant messenger notifications of wave activity.
Gotcha: While all the other notifiers mentioned here let you know if you have ANY changed or unread waves in your inbox at all, XMPP Lite only notifies you about the specific waves you've added it to, and pressed the Subscribe button in.
XMPP Lite is one of this book's featured bots. For details on how to use it, head back to the "XMPP Lite (email@example.com)" section in Chapter 8.
Like the rest of the book, this was co-written by Adam Pash and myself (in this section, mostly Adam, bless his soul). We're working furiously on getting The Complete Guide to Google Wave's first edition--a step up from the Preview PDF--ready for print publication. What should we include or exclude? Let us know in the comments, and thanks in advance.