The introduction of Google Buzz has inspired me to write something up that I've been thinking for a long time: Google needs to stop inventing new things, and start focusing on integrating what they already have.
Imagine a single application that combines all the following into a single interface:
- Google Talk
- Google Voice
- Google Wave
- Google Latitude
- Google Contacts
- Google Buzz
I call it Google Communicator, and I think it could be one of the most influential applications Google could possibly build.
Google Communicator could allow people to stop thinking in terms of communication protocols (email, IM, Wave, SMS, etc.) and start thinking in terms of contacts. In other words, rather than me thinking about wanting to send my friend an email or an IM or start a new wave with him, I can just start with the desire to communicate. Google Communicator would worry about (and suggest) the right protocol. If my friend happens to be online, maybe I send an IM. If he's accepting incoming calls, maybe I use Google Voice. If he's out somewhere and doesn't want calls, maybe I send him an SMS. If I don't need to communicate instantly, maybe I decide to send an email. All of this can (and should) happen from one integrated user interface.
Not only would something like Google Communicator revolutionize outgoing communication, but it would completely change incoming communication, as well. Imagine having full control over all incoming communication. When your phone senses you're on the move, for instance, maybe it automatically turns off incoming calls. When you're not at your computer, maybe all communications are rerouted as SMS messages. If you're on a plane and completely inaccessible, maybe all communication goes to voicemail or email.
Having all communications go through one central hub means everything can be archived, indexed, and searched all in one location. Imagine never deleting a single email, SMS, voicemail, IM, or wave — and being able to access and search all of them from a single interface.
What's really interesting about this concept is that it's entirely doable right now. Google not only has all the infrastructure in place for this, but they also have the UI technology to easily combine it into one experience. All Google needs to build the most powerful communication hub in the history of computing is a little cross-team collaboration, a few people willing to dedicated their 20% project time, and a cool new Google Communicator logo.