Thursday, July 3, 2008

Google Talk comes to the iPhone, iPod Touch

Google is making its Google Talk instant-messaging application available for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch.

One of Google's software engineers posted the news in a blog on Wednesday.

"In addition to sending your friends Gmail messages from your iPhone, you can now chat with them while you're on the move, too!"

Adam Connors, of Google's mobile team said in the blog.

The application doesn't require any software to be installed or downloaded. Instead it works within the phone's browser, so users can simply go to the site, sign in, and start chatting.

Connors pointed out that there are a few differences when using Google Talk on the iPhone versus a computer. For one, to receive messages, the application needs to be open on the Safari phone browser. When users navigate away from the Google Talk window in the browser, their status is set to "unavailable."

That said Google has tried to keep the experience close to what users experience on their desktop or laptop computers. They can select contacts from a quicklist, search contacts, and manage conversations.

With half the world's population soon owning a cell phone, the opportunity to reach more people on the Web via a mobile device is huge. Google recognizes this as a big advertising opportunity. As a result, the company has launched several initiatives to make sure it gets a piece of the action.

It's already adapted its Web search, mapping service, and advertising tools to work on cell phones. And it even bid in a U.S. auction of wireless spectrum to help ensure rules requiring open access on those networks were achieved. The company has even gone so far as to develop its own mobile operating system, known as Android, to ensure that its applications and services are tightly integrated into mobile devices.