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January 22, 2009

Comparison of Google Talk's Official Clients

Google has way too many separate implementations of Google Talk and very few features are available in all clients:


Features / implementations
Google Talk
Gadget
Labs Edition
Gmail Chat
iGoogle and orkut iPhone version
Requires installing software
Yes (Windows)
Flash plug-in
Yes (Windows)
No (some features require plug-ins)
No
No
Tabs
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
Themes
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
Gmail notifications
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
No
Calendar notifications
No
No
Yes
No
No
No
Invisible status
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Music track status
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
Text chat
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Multi-user chat
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Features / implementations
Google Talk
Gadget
Labs Edition
Gmail Chat
iGoogle and orkut iPhone version
Copy the text of a message
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
Saving messages to Gmail
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Audio chat
Yes
No
No
Yes
No
No
Voicemail
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
Video chat
No
No
No
Yes
No
No
Send SMS
No
No
No
Yes
No
No
AIM integration
No
No
No
Yes
No
No
File transfer
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
View photos (Flickr, Picasa Web)
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
Play videos (YouTube, Google Video)
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No

You can also use any other client that supports Jabber, but most of the features above won't be available.

47 comments:

  1. So true... I want a multiplatform Google Talk client ! Why all this mess ?

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  2. experimental or lot of confusion?

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  3. Please release a version for Linux. As Google needs to stop catering to Windows OS.

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  4. I thinks there are some errors : Labs Edition have Audio and Video chat...

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  5. ¿And what about message history? ¿In gmail or in the computer? The reason I use Gmail Chat is because it records it, and it does in gmail.

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  6. This is true. I personally miss file transfer in GMail...

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  7. Why did you not added the feature of share and see Image between Google Talk clients using only Drag&Drop... in the "View Photos" I think that you should write Yes in the first column.

    Or do you know that Google will "drop" that feature in Google Talk Client ?

    It is unsupported from the others. It's soo annoying but very often happen to chat with users, and you want to share online and in realtime some photos but you can't: your friends are using other Talk clients... losing this opportunity !

    Your blog is a great Blog for Google users!!!!

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  8. I prefer UI of Google Talk Client to Lab Edition, but I need invisible status feature :(

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  9. You could add the attribute "Allows copying". I generally prefer the Google Chat webpage edition, but that's one thing the Flash doesn't seem to let you do (you need to go to your Gmail log to copy something).

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  10. Does anyone know if other clients that supports Jabber record the message history in gmail?

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  11. At home on my mac I use adium, which I love. When I'm at work I use google talk labs. My main complaint with talk labs is the lack of time stamps in the chat window. While I'm in the middle of a conversation its not a big deal, but if I'm working or away from my desk and later notice someone sent me a message it would be really nice to know what time it was sent.

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  12. Awesome comparison....I wish Google could make it uniform across all versions.

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  13. Thanks. I added some of your suggestions.

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  14. If they add the music status, tabs, voicemail, and file transfer to gmail chat, it will be perfect. I still wouldn't mind an all-new gtalk desktop version with AIM and video chat included either.

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  15. This is lack of control, too many teams playing with one thing.

    I guess Google Talk team must be reassigned to Chrome or something else, so Gmail team and iGoogle team makes these kind of mess.

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  16. The Talk client needs video badly.

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  17. I wish Labs Edition had the option to have separate chat windows like in the official client.

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  18. i think it's annoying, i have to go to gmail to multichat, google talk for voice calls and would love the features in labs but will not install 2 versions. google should concentrate on web browser version and computer client, built around the same features where possible.

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  19. @ http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2009/01/comparison-of-google-talks-official.html#c7614847213170077229

    Gmail records your chat history if you use any desktop client.

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  20. The Gadget does in fact support themes, through XML.

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  21. The SMS feature can be taken into consideration to make it a big success it would be better

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  22. Just 3 version.. No More PLEASE!!!
    Google Talk + Labs Edition (and for Linux, OS X and Windows) -> App Edition
    Gmail Chat+iGoogle and orkut -> Web Edition
    Mobile Version -> Mobile Edition

    Video Chat for everyone.

    Forget Gadget, this use flash, and, html+ajax+plugins are most useful. And light.

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  23. Did you forget emoticon picker in a few of the clients?

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  24. The feature I would like most (and which is nowhere in this mess !) is the multi-user audio chat, like in Skype for instance... It's a basic conference tool though...

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  25. Android's client needs video/audio also.

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  26. they should upgrade the gadget client from flash8/AS2 to flash9/AS3,
    add the missing features, and port it to the desktop with AIR

    and there you would have a consistent client for the browser AND the desktop

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  27. Can you imagine an iPhone version with audio and video chat. If only all the companies would cooperate for the better of the consumer.

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  28. Is there any way to DISABLE Google Talk on a XP PC?

    Thanks.

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  29. What do you mean by "disable": uninstall, prevent from loading on startup?

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  30. With all the Google consolidation, I guess they didn't consider consolidating Talk.

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  31. Google is very adamant for it's google Talk client. It's funny, it allows Video on Web based client and not on desktop client!!!

    Same is the case with invisible mode and other features.

    I mean, come on... the web client requires plugin for video to work!!!

    I really do not understand what google strategy is!

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  32. Google needs to continue development of Gtalk, im tired of waiting and waiting

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  33. It really seems apparent that Google places priority on the web-based channels for GChat (e.g., Gmail chat) rather than the desktop client. It's unfortunate - the Google Talk desktop client is such a slick interface! I would love to be able to use it for video chat, for SMS messages, and for multi-protocol chat.

    This shows through in their strategy for the iPhone, too - they'll only release iPhone compatible web gadgets for Google Talk rather than an application (in contrast to AIM, for example).

    I think Google just wants to keep everything in the cloud/browser and not be responsible for any other platform software.

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  34. Don't forget the "Badges" They have a lot to be desired. When someone clicks on your badge, you can get a message in Google Talk, but it has a link! Then you have to click a couple more times through web pages before you can even reply. Another experiment, I guess.

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  35. LOL i use half of those in one given day GRRR...I have labs and talk on my home pc. I've disabled igoogle and gmail chat b/c they're annoyingly limited. It really is frustrating when you want to send someone a file and they're in a gadget or gmail and you can't i'm eager to see these features available in all versions of google's chat.

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  36. It is so wrong that google wants to keep everything in browser. The gmail version of google chat does support video and audio chat, but only when you have actually downloaded and installed the plugin -- what's the difference between downloading and installing a plugin and an application? They are all platform dependant.

    This mess shows clearly that there are some ill ideas in google.

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  37. It is a shame that the new google video chat is not incorporated directly into the google talk client for ease of use. It is so much more complicated to use than Skype, ie: both parties having to log into gmail first just to talk on video. Until such time as it is one simple click to start and one simple click to call(with video) then all our friends and family will stick with Skype with video. Skype is just so simple to use, even our 75yo grandparents can use Skype with less than 60 seconds instruction, all the best for now, Marshall

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  38. The Google Talk client needs to be able to send and receive SMS. Any chance this will happen in the near future?

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  39. I can talk via SMS in the official client.

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  40. this is pure stupidity on behalf of google. whoever is the PM for google talk should get fired or stabbed in heart in a dark valley (for the idiots in google: this is a joke!).
    so much confusion over a simple application. why? why? why? why?

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  41. This should be updated to fit the updates Gmail, Orkut and iGoogle have gotten.

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  42. Take all the individual features, and cram them all into the friggin' client. The only reason I still use this messenger is because it's nonsense-free (except for orkut... who even uses that?). Maybe I should look for a new one. GT Client has obviously been forgotten.

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  43. multi-user chat in the client would be awesome.

    oh wait, google has forgotten all about it.

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  44. you cannot copy text in google talk labs edition.

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  45. Great comparison chart! Please make another iteration of this, removing really old stuff, and including G+ and Android clients. Overall it's still very frustrating that there's no single web based client that has all of these features. And preferably this client could nicely work in it's own window.

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