As expected, Google have jumped into the instant messaging and voice-over-IP arena with a new product called Google Talk.
I’ve downloaded it and played around with it a bit and tried chatting to a friend through it.
I like its minimalist interface and how it directly finds people who are on your email contact list and are online using Google Talk.
The chat interface is very simple and it’s simply all about text. There are no emoticons, nudges, winks, and all those other flashing and jumping things that other messengers have. It just gives you plain text, although it does recognize the popular emoticons and displays their text in blue.
I actually kind of like that. I hate talking to someone and being flooded by a bunch of smiley faces jumping around and making faces at me or some stupid animations coming out of nowhere.
But they could’ve at least put in some text styling options, which aren’t available.
Just like all other IM clients, it notifies you when you get an email in your inbox.
It doesn’t have a search engine box built in, which is weird, as you’d think Google would never forget to include that.
I haven’t tried out its voice capabilities yet, but according to Om Malik who did, the quality of sound was great.
For the tech people within you, Google Talk is based on Jabber, which means it’ll be able to communicate with other Jabber based clients such as iChat on Macs.
I’m not sure if I’ll be using it that often, but well I think it’s quite good for a first effort.
But it still needs some more features, that everyone got used to, to be able to go head to head with MSN, Yahoo or AOL messengers.