Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Google Talk

Google Talk looks interesting. It’s primarily a VoIP client like Skype and Gizmo, but also has a standard instant messaging mode. On the face of it, nothing special.
Where it stands out is that it integrates with Gmail (so all Gmail users already have a Google Talk account and their Gmail address book appears in their contact list), and that its chat function uses the open Jabber network so that users can talk to users of other clients like Gaim, Adium, iChat and Trillian Pro. Google actually advertises this as a feature.
That said, it’s Windows-only at the moment, and I haven’t yet been able to try it – especially as the university firewall seems to block Jabber traffic.
Update: Download Squad has a review. Key points:

  • Dead simple interface, with good integration with Gmail
  • “SIP support is coming soon and are in talks with Skype, AOL, and Yahoo! concerning interoperability.”
  • Only a 900KB download

And allegedly iChat users can use voice chat with Google Talk users, so every Mac user with a recent copy of iChat is instantly on board. Funky.
Update II: Michael Robertson on Google Talk. Michael is one of the people behind Gizmo and SIPphone, and he’s pleased. He reckons this could see the beginning of greater interopability between IM and VoIP networks.


  1. Yeah – Google Talk is good. My headset and sound card is slightly bodged at the mo though!

  2. With Google behind SIP and Jabber hopefully they’ll become as popular as Skype and MSN respectively. I’ve managed to log into Google Talk from Gaim, but you’re my only Jabber contact so there’s not much else I can do with it.

  3. I’ve managed from Gaim too, why is Google obsessed with TLS though?

  4. I’ve not managed to get it to work with jabber using miranda. Having said that it also requires that you configure gaim (or your app) to log into the google servers which seems to defeat the purpose of jabber as i understand it (not that i’ve ever used jabber before).
    But does the world really need yet another voice over ip client?

  5. Joe: TLS means its encrypted so that others cannot snoop on your IM conversations. Normally they’re sent in plain text.
    Andy: I think you can link Jabber servers together but you need to sign on to Google’s server if you want to use your Gmail account so that it can be validated. Not entirely sure though.

  6. I know what TLS is, just some clients don’t support it and i don’t care about my privacy 😉

  7. Google Talk is simple, but good.

    As we mentioned the other day, Google Talk has been unleashed on the world which has largely greeted it with a great big, "So what?" This is understandable as Google's new baby is much like the search engine itself when you first look…

  8. Does anyone know where it stores its chat logs?

  9. Nope. Good point. On Google’s anti-privacy server?

  10. You can use Google Talk with iChat in the newest version of Mac OS X.