‘Google Talk’ due today, works with Apple’s iChat AV; Mac OS X version planned

“Google Inc. plans to launch a long-rumored program Wednesday that provides both text instant messaging and computer-to-computer voice chat,” Matthew Fordahl reports for The Associated Press. “The new program, Google Talk, will compete against similar free services offered for several years by America Online Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. All are vying to increase their presence on PCs to boost online ad revenue and name recognition.”

“As a newcomer to messaging, Google could face an uphill battle. AOL’s messaging program has about 41.6 million U.S. users, followed by Yahoo Messenger with 19.1 million and MSN Messenger with 14.1 million, according to ComScore Media Metrix’s July report,” Fordahl reports. “Users of those services are unlikely to switch unless the friends and colleagues on their ‘buddy lists’ do the same. The top instant messaging services still do not communicate with each other, though promises of such ‘interoperability’ have been made for years.”

“Google based its software on open standards, so it will work with smaller networks that are based on the same technology. Text messages can be exchanged with users of Apple Computer Inc.’s iChat, Cerulean Studios’ Trillian and the open-source Gaim program,” Fordahl reports. “Google Talk, which is being released in a beta test version, works only on PCs running Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Eventually, the company plans to release a version for Apple’s Mac OS X. Google Talk also requires users to have an account with the company’s free Gmail e-mail system.”

Full article here.

More info, screen shots, and download link (Windows XP/2000-only) here.

Mac and Linux users can connect to Google Talk using other IM clients. More info here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Report: Google plans IM system, expected to work with Apple’s iChat AV – August 23, 2005


  1. Sure Google has to place its self with some existing competition, but they have done that so well in the past. I dare say, buy their stock now as they have much up their sleves towards making the world even “flater”. Next year you will think you were a genius.

  2. I have been trying this out on my windows laptop, I know this is only a beta version, but it looks a little old scholl, compared to the sophisticated iChat and also MSN Messenger. Google really need to get video built-in as well. It is good to see them using open source and integration with other systems.

    Bring on the next version!

  3. It’s already out. Connected to it this morning. You need to have a gmail account. Google has opened gmail so you don’t need an invite anymore. Haven’t connected from iChat yet. I’m using Linux at work and connected via GAIM.

  4. It’s very simple – which is good. Of course what features they add in due course will determine how good it really becomes. For simple messaging I’ll use it at work if I need to and it’s cool it works with adium and ichat so thumbs up for me.

  5. Before someone asks: at the moment, only the official Google client can do voice messaging, as Google hasn’t yet documented the protocol they are using. Other clients like iChat can do text messaging just fine, though.

    Google’s page says that they will document the voice protocol, so other clients will probably be able to use it in the future.

  6. Both wannabe and bobb are half right.

    Based on my experience last night, you can do voice chat using iChat/Jabber/Google Talk, Mac-to-Mac, but for Windows users in your iChat/Jabber/Google Talk buddy list who use the Google Talk client or Trillian Pro, you will see no phone icon, i.e., no way to voice chat.

  7. Is there a way that Google can create an algorithm to make use of all the data they are amassing on people’s lives?

    — They begin with your IP address and what you search for.

    — Then they scan your emails, and have all the data in your interactions with others, business and personal.

    — Then they scan the contents of your hard drive and find all the content there, from inner personal thoughts to business documents.

    — Now they want to get into peoples immediate communication, with Chat logs, and text messages. Soon up, the first non-text technology with VoIP, which I don’t know how they’ll leverage that.

    So basically they have more information on what you’re doing than any public company in history. If they can figure out some killer algorithms to predict certain behaviors — whoa!

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