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March 29, 2010

Send Files in Google Chat

One of the few features that are available in Google Talk's desktop client, but couldn't be used in the web-based gadgets from Gmail, iGoogle and orkut, is file sharing. The missing feature is now available in iGoogle and orkut, but not yet in Gmail.

"Starting today, you can share photos, documents, and other files while chatting in iGoogle and orkut. To give it a try, just click Send a file... in the Actions menu while chatting with a friend (no download required). This feature is also compatible with the file transfer functionality in the Google Talk downloadable software, so you can share files directly from the web with folks who use the desktop version," explains Google.

You can send multiple files at the same time, but you can't select multiple files from the file picker dialog. Google Chat doesn't support transferring files larger than 100 MB.

Google Talk's desktop client is no longer updated, as Google focused on improving the chat feature from Gmail and adding similar features to iGoogle and orkut. Google Talk's homepage still links to the Windows client, but the first option is a plug-in for video chat.

{ Thanks, Niranjan. }


  1. The biggest problem with Google Chat is quite simply that you need to be logged into GMail to use it. While adding features to it is all well and good, when I have several e-mail accounts to check MSN still becomes an easier option for me to use.

  2. They make such a beautiful browser, with weekly releases, and yet completely abandoned Talk.

  3. Is it still using Google Talk proprietary (Jingle), or can I do file transfers with a normal XMPP IM client now?

  4. the only problem.. why did google had to implement 'invisibility' the non-standard way in chat??

  5. DSTT:

    Google Talk uses an open standard called XMPP for its Google Talk systems. Any good Instant Messaging application supports Google Talk, along with your MSN, Yahoo and other accounts. for example

  6. @Anonymous:

    Google Talk uses Jingle for file transfer, but the implementation has been licensed as BSD. Not all XMPP clients support this implementation, probably because it's not yet a standard. For example, I tried to send a file to a Pidgin client, but Google displayed this message: "Sorry, Dan is not using a chat client that supports file transfer."

  7. At a Google get-to-know-you event in Seattle last year, a Google developer told me that the Google Talk desktop client is indeed still in development. He couldn't tell me when it would be released, but he said, "We think you guys are really going to like it."

    My guess: a new style of UI combining Google Voice/Gizmo SIP, video chat, and text IM chat; and including stuff like mixed media conferences and broad integration with social media platforms.


  9. How much more madness will this ensue? There are simply TOO MANY GOOGLE TALK CLIENTS.
    Gmail Chat
    Google Talk
    Google Talk Labs Edition.

    Google Talk Client has audio chat and file transfer but It doesn't have video. Gmail Chat has Video but no file transfer, Labs Edition have video but not "copy paste" or "drag&drop". Now IGoogle has file transfer but Gmail doesn't? WTF?

  10. I have to admit that I'm very disappointed to hear the stand-alone Google Talk client has been abandoned. I have it running all the time whereas I do not keep a browser window open to Gmail all the time.

    By abandoning the stand-alone client you've pretty much insured that I won't use Google Talk for my IMing needs. Which is a shame as I really liked it. I open Gmail long enough to check my mail and then it's gone. Doesn't give much time for anyone who might want to try and chat with me through it.

  11. Here is the BIG problem with a browser based Google Chat where I use it as part of Google Apps Premiere in a business environment:

    Online version:
    The user has to open their browser.
    The user has to go to their webmail.

    With the desktop client:
    User switches on their machine and Google Desktop auto starts and auto logs them in.

  12. Thanks for the update and info Alex.

    It's disappointing to hear that Google has shelved their desktop client. I know they want us using Chrome, but until they make their services work together in a unified and seamless manner I don't see it happening. This is another example, like bookmarks, where there are several implementations of the same service that don't provide the same functionality, don't have the same interaction, and give Google a very fragmented chaotic feel at times.

    I hope Google will focus and unify their products across all platforms.

  13. Whenever a topic related with desktop client appears almost every post cries for a new release of desktop client with new features added. It's really weird for Google not to hear these. I don't want to believe that Google works for a full year to impement new features. Google can and should develop new features like video chat and chat with multiple people into the desktop client.

    It's a very lovely tiny client with a wonderful uncluttered user interface which I think most people like.

  14. i always use the client... i hate the web talk ;(

    please google... update the client

  15. Is it really possible to send files on Google chat. If it is so it will be great advantage.

  16. I am using only GTalk client, never web.
    The labs version is pretty cool but it lacks some key features as file-transfer, responsiveness, also I can't get along with it.

    I wish they would publish the source code for the PC desktop version (it's built with qt), cuz to write a new client I don't want. but to extend the existing one would be great!