Understand Google Talk client functionality

          The Google Talk service offers many features for communicating with friends and family. Google Talk service uses open standards for instant messaging and voice calling. That means anyone can build applications for the Google Talk network.We can connect to the Google Talk service using Google's own client, as well as many other IM clients developed by third parties.

          Basically there are five ways to connect to Google Talk network.

  1. Original Google Talk client (Download here): Original Google Talk client offers various services. They are
    1. Instant messaging: Chat with all of your Google Talk and Gmail contacts in real time.
    2. Free PC-to-PC voice chat: You can talk to anyone for free who is online and has the Google Talk client.
    3. Send and receive voicemails: If the person you're calling isn't available, you can leave a voicemail.
    4. Unlimited file transfers: Send files to your contacts. There are no file size or bandwidth restrictions.
    5. Gmail notifications on your desktop: When you're signed into Google Talk, you'll be notified of new messages in your Gmail inbox.
    6. Chat history: If you use Google Talk with a Gmail account then all of your chats are saved to a searchable archive in Gmail.
    7. Voice chat: Free PC-to-PC voice calls to any of your Gmail contacts.
  2. Google Talk Labs Edition (Download here): Google Talk Lab Edition supports invisible mode, group chatting and tabbed chatting. Google Talk Labs Edition does not support voice calling and file transfer. It is only available in english and works on Windows. If you want to voice call and file transfer service then go for original Google Talk client. Issues of late loading and several times connection loss are reported with this version as it is still in development stage.
  3. Gmail built-in chat using the Google Talk network: Besides above mentioned services provided by original Google Talk client, Gmail built in chat supports
    1. Video chat: Chat live. Video chat requires plugin to work. Click here to download video plugin
    2. Invisible mode: Appear to be offline when you don't want to be interrupted.
    3. Group chat: Invite multiple people to chat with you in a group.
    4. No file transfer service: It does not support file transfer service. Ofcourse you can send file of upto 25 MB using email, provided file is a nonexecutable file.
  4. Google Talk gadget to iGoogle: The Google Talk Gadget requires Adobe Flash Player version 8 or above for Windows (Flash Player 10.0.32.18 (IE) and Flash Player 10.0.32.18 (Non-IE)) and version 9 for Linux.
    1. Talk on your homepage: iGoogle lets you gather fun and useful gadgets, including Google Talk, all into one place.
    2. Media previews inline: Preview video and slideshow URLs from YouTube and Picasa Web Albums in your chats.
    3. Group chat: Invite multiple people to chat with you in a group
  5. Third party Google Talk IM clients: Click here to view third party IM clients. Third party Google Talk service clients do not support Voice calls
    to other Google Talk users. All Google Talk clients provides services freely.
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