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 del.icio.us, 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!)