Mar 15, 2007

[Google] New Google Talk Gadget

Google, as of late, seems to be putting more focus on its Personalized Homepage recently by adding more social functions to their widgets called Google Gadgets such as allow users to share gadgets they like with friends or auto-populating a new tab with related gadgets based on the tab name.

Google Talk betaNow Google has added something completely different - an official Google Talk gadget for the Personalized Homepage.

Google Talk Gadget Screenshot What's interesting to note is that it's not AJAX-driven, in fact it's Flash-based as opposed to Google Talk within Gmail which is HTML driven. Some of the initial reviews have people liking this new gadget more than alternative versions that can be found on Google Desktop or the Gmail version.

You can also previews YouTube videos and Picasa Web Albums directly within the gadget by just typing in the URL and hitting send. An interesting feature and the first time Google has allowed users to share online videos and photo albums within any of the version of its Talk application.

It does have limitations - you can't manage more than 4 conversations at once and I've noticed it tends to "float on top" of all other gadgets including its own gadget menu. This might interfere with other gadgets that trigger special pop-ups like the Google Reader Gadget depending on where you place the Talk gadget in relation to the Reader gadget. I find myself unable to click on the "X" button to close my Reader pop-ups because my Talk gadget is floating above it. Darn.

On the whole, it's a pretty robust application of sorts and it gives you an alternative place to use Google Talk. I'm just curious about the Call button they've placed on the UI which isn't clickable for me at this time - but will it be usable in the future, perhaps?

Only time can tell, really. Google has also created a fun little video (seen below) to walk users through the new features of this particular gadget. You can add the gadget to your homepage here or by visiting the main Google Talk page.

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