Google Talk and more from your iPhone

Sep 16, 2010
Tech

Using Google’s mobile page to do much of anything on your iPhone is cumbersome at best, so even a lackluster app that allowed you to use Google Talk over your phone would be well-received by this writer. Luckily, Talk Messenger provides a fairly robust feature set, making it a very palatable chat option. Despite its […]

Using Google’s mobile page to do much of anything on your iPhone is cumbersome at best, so even a lackluster app that allowed you to use Google Talk over your phone would be well-received by this writer. Luckily, Talk Messenger provides a fairly robust feature set, making it a very palatable chat option.

Despite its all-encompassing name, Talk Messenger is specifically for use with Google Ztalk, Google’s Gmail-related chat service. That’s not a bad thing, though, as the app seems tailored specifically for Google’s chat services.

Everyday Google Talk tasks like sending photos and using Google-specific emoticons are performed with ease via Talk Messenger. The app even has a button that makes it easy for you to check for new email messages in app, so you won’t even have to leave to check your mail app.

Oddly, it’s in the actual chatting features that Talk Messenger falters ever so slightly. While individual conversations are kept separate in Talk Messenger, receiving a new IM from someone you didn’t have a window open with seems to push their conversation to the forefront. If you weren’t paying attention, it would be easy to send someone a message they weren’t supposed to receive.

Additionally, the font of the Talk Messenger conversations is a little too big, and, unfortunately, can’t be changed. Reading the app with your iPhone vertical makes words split over into the next line constantly. Horizontally, this isn’t much of a problem, but it shouldn’t be an issue to use the app vertically, either.

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Although you can’t change the font, Talk Messenger does have a decent feature set. You’re able to set your status to busy or away, as well as program a new personal message and put up a new profile picture.

Strangely, when I had a gchat window open during testing of the app, none of these changes carried over into the web-based version. Conversations that I was having in the app did not carry over either, meaning if I had the app window open for them, I received messages in the app, but if I messaged you in the web version, I’d only see your reply, not your original message. That was disappointing, but not entirely surprising.

Still, Talk Messenger is a decently priced and quite useful re-creation of the Google Talk chat service. If you’re dying to chat with your friends while you’re away from your computer, you could do a lot worse.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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