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Gtalkr, Web-Based GTalk Client

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A few weeks back I introduced you folks to Meebo, a browser-based IM aggregation client that leveraged technologies collectively known as AJAX. Now meet Gtalkr, a Flash-based implementation of Google Talk. I have been playing around with it for a few days, and as a Mac user, I can finally enjoy the GTalk IM Service. It is fairly simple product to use. Go to this website, use your Gmail ID and log in. Nothing to download, nothing to install. But ease of use is not the only thing. In many ways it is like GTalk plus. (I wish it looked prettier, but it works nicely

It can index conversations, and allows you as a user to search the conversations. (I am worried about my chats being stored on someone else’s server, but then I imagine rest of the IM services also do that on their servers.) You can also read short previews of your Gmail messages as well. You can invite your Gmail contacts by clicking on the “Add or invite a friend to Gtalkr” link. You can drag and drop the names from your contact list. (This is the list of people who have emailed your Gmail account.) For windows users, they also have a Gtalkr notifier. Mac version is in the works. Other nagging aspect of the service – no support for smiley faces, or you cannot import your photo/icon. (The icon image import is working now, even on Safari.) But then they are in beta!

Given Gtalkr leverages Flash 8, independent developers can simply write apps that work with this client and leverage the GTalk network. Actually, Macromedia is working closely with Jabber folks. I asked CEO Dudley Carr about the potential apps that can be built to ride this browser based client, and he emailed me this reply:

We’re planning on adding extensions that will have integration with, flickr, and other web-based services. The current set of default extensions in Gtalkr are Yahoo! maps which is Flash-based thanks to Yahoo!, a To do list implementation, and a Buddy Pounce implementation which is the example implementation that we’ll share with other developers. With some modifications, the news reader could be brought back as an extension to Gtalkr.

I wonder what Google thinks of the name, Gtalkr? Not to mention that they have built an extension for Yahoo Maps. Here is a link to their API information and how you can build your own extensions to it.

Update: While iChat is a good client for Mac users who want to connect to GTalk, it does act up behind corporate firewalls for some odd reason. I think this is a clear option, where you can do chats using a browser. Secondly, since app is called Gtalkr, it works only with the Gtalk network and not other Jabber networks. (Thanks Boris, good to have you back!)

32 Responses to “Gtalkr, Web-Based GTalk Client”

  1. Chris Mortimer

    Hi, was wondering if anyone could point me to a list of web-based open source voice and messaging applications in the same line as Meebo and Gtalkr?

  2. Most IM services do *not* log your conversations, that’s very close to defamation. Google, for instance, specifically states that “Google Talk does not archive the contents of your text or voice communications on Google’s servers.”

    Feel free to give up your privacy by giving unknown third-parties complete access to your Google accounts, but lets not get hysterical.

  3. Scott,

    I think it’s a fair enough of concern that entering your Gmail credentials in a brand new website is probably a bit worrisome. To put you hopefully at ease, we don’t store your password anywhere on the server. The communication between your browser and our server, and between our server and the Google Talk server is secured using SSL.

    Our privacy policy has been completed, but I’ll re-iterate all of these points and more in that document.

  4. Does no one else have a problem with going to an unknown website and plugging in username/password?

    The functionality of these services is great but I get chills thinking about privacy, security and identity theft issues.

  5. yeah, but try using it behind a corporate firewall and GTalk just doesn’t work too well. I agree, the GTalk is limited to Google’s network, but I don’t see much traction for Jabber elsewhere right now. I think this is a good start and the app is called gtalkr after all. :-)

  6. As a Mac user, you’ve been able to use GTalk IM since day 1…just use iChat’s Jabber option.

    GTalk does not (yet) speak to other Jabber servers, so you’re stuck talking to only other GTalk users, but IM most certainly does work through iChat. iChat only allows one Jabber account to be active at a time, so you have to choose to either talk to the GTalk universe only, or all your other Jabber contacts.