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New Google Talk Features

Friday, April 13th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet

New Google Talk Features

It’s no secret that Google Talk has cemented its place in the crowded world of instant messengers. The fact that it doesn’t come with a bucket load of extra bells and whistles has added to its appeal. So, today, I’m going to tell you all about some brand new features for Google Talk.

For example, I’ll show you how to access Google Talk without actually having the Google Talk client. This really comes in handy when you don’t have access to the client. You know, like in an office or school environment where it’s forbidden or blocked. In those cases, what do you do when you must log into Google Talk? Well, Google has provided a few options.

1.) Every time you log into your Gmail e-mail account, you will see that it automatically logs you into Google Talk via the sidebar panel. It doesn’t have any voice capabilities, but you can text chat with all of your contacts from right within your Gmail Inbox. The only drawback to this method is that you have to constantly go back to the same tab to reply or read any new messages. Frankly, all that tab switching can be annoying sometimes, but I still think it’s worth it!

2.) One way to avoid switching between all those tabs is to go to the Google Talk homepage and launch the Google Talk gadget. This launches a new window and has a very nice interface, especially the tabbed view for different conversations. You’ll have all your conversations in one place where you can navigate between them easily. This is entirely Web based and requires no download. You can also launch this from your personal Google Homepage using the Google Talk widget that is an add on for the Google Homepage feature. One cool feature of this gadget is that if you paste a YouTube or a Picassa URL, this client lets you preview those links right from the chat window.

To use the pop out version of Google Talk, just click here.

3.) If you are the kind of person who doesn’t like any switching at all, you should just choose to load up the Google Talk client in your browser sidebar. This works the best if you are using Firefox. The trick is to bookmark the Google Talk browser client and load it up in your bookmarks sidebar. This way, no matter what Firefox tab you’re in, the Google Talk client stays in the sidebar. Different conversations with your contacts are grouped under tabs and the navigation is a breeze as well!

To use the sidebar version of Google Talk, click on this link and just add it to your bookmarks.

As I said earlier, these are little tricks that should help you access your Google Talk account and talk to all your buddies from the office or school, without any restrictions on the use of instant messages. How cool is that?! Have fun!

~ Yogesh Bakshi

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