Staying true to Steve Jobs’ fondness of web apps, the Google mobile team has released Google Talk for the iPhone. Using the app, even first-gen iPhone users can chat with their Google friends in real time, see their availability and status message, change their status on the go and more.
“We’ve just released in the US a new version of Google Talk designed specifically for the iPhone and iPod Touch browsers,” says the Google mobile team. “In addition to sending your friends Gmail messages from your iPhone, you can now chat with them while you’re on the move, too! In your iPhone browser, just go to google.com/talk, sign in and start chatting. That’s it. Google Talk runs entirely in the browser so there’s no need to download or install anything.”
According to the team’s software engineer, Adam Connors, there are a few differences between the desktop version of Google Talk and the just-released iPhone web app. One example is that the application needs to be open in the Safari web browser, in order to receive instant messages with Google Talk. However, this works just as well, since you may navigate away to another browser window or application and your status will be changed to “unavailable”. Your Google Talk session will be restarted the instant you feel like chatting again.
“Other than that, we’ve tried to keep the design as faithful to the desktop experience as possible, so it should be familiar to you,” the team’s software engineer explains. Users are able to select from a quicklist of the people they usually have chats with, but also search their friends and manage multiple conversations, all from their portable devices.
The main features of Google Talk for the iPhone include staying connected to your Google Talk contacts right from your iPhone, sending and receiving instant messages in chat sessions with your contacts, moving easily between multiple open chats – view and search for your Google Talk contacts – the ability to see the availability and status message of your contacts and changing your own status on the go as well as going off the record if you don’t want to store your chats – off the record chats are not stored on Gmail.
Got that iPhone at hand? Good. Use Safari and head over to google.com/talk now.