Saturday, August 9, 2008

Google Talk, Labs Edition

I am a big fan of Google labs, and have been following all their products religiously. The latest innovation from Google Labs are Google Pages, Google Sites and Google Talk Labs Edition. The former two did not impress me much. But the last one is pretty neat.


It scores over traditional Google talk, by having all chat windows open as tabs within the  application window than as pop ups. This is a great help, since in my office, having too many Google Talk pop ups gives a wrong impression. Also group chat feature has now been added, allowing far more interesting discussions with all your friends at the same time, than boring personal messages to just one of them. Off course, unless you are looking for some privacy :-). It has a better interface styling and color layout. At last Google has added some color to the pane. So what if its primitive blue. And the feature, I was dying to see in Google Talk. Like Gmail Chat, one can now go invisible in Google Talk as well. Yippee !!


This edition still lags far behind the traditional client in terms of functionality, especially voice call feature is missing. I wonder, why is it still called Google "Talk"?  Even the settings feature is not available. But after all this is still in Labs, and not a Release. So I am expecting some improvements before this is released.


Here is my verdict on Google Talk Labs Edition,


The Pros,


1) Great interface. Has been shaded in blue.


2) Tabs and not popups.


3) Group chat enabled.


4) Invisible mode added.


The Cons,


1) Voice calls feature missing.


2) Settings feature missing.


3) File transfer feature missing.


Here is what I suggest,


Go and try the Google Talk, Labs Edition. As more and more people use it, Google will be able to collect statistical data, that will help them to improve this product.


Visit their site for more details.