Talking with Skype

Google Talk's got a new gig. Google and eBay have signed an agreement around text-based advertising and "click-to-call" advertising, in which Google Talk and Skype will power voice calls between customers and merchants. (Read the full press release here.)

Just as exciting are our plans to explore interoperability between Google Talk and Skype, making it easier for our users to chat with one another. This is just another step in our commitment to interoperability via open, industry standards.

Lewis Lin
Product Marketing Manager, Google Talk

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Categorically Speaking

A wise man once said, 'Organization is paramount.' I'm not sure when this was first uttered; it could have slipped out while constructing Manhattan's downtown grid or connecting the green spaces of Berlin, but I agree. I like to have my clothes organized in drawers, my shoes organized against the wall, my money alphabetically organized in my wallet by president, and my Friends list organized according to available, busy, idle, and offline. It's mitigating. It's rational.

I want to share the joy of organization with all you Talkers out there. While we're making it easier to communicate in a number of ways, we should also make it easier for you to ask and answer questions about Google Talk. Of course, it may take a Talk engineer or a member of Talk support to answer some questions, but I think other users are a great resource - especially because there are millions of them.

We created Google Talk Help Discussion nearly a year ago, and until recently, there weren't any categories to organize the group. It was one hefty, unkempt sea of Talk knowledge. Oh, the sea was unfettered; it was confounded. Now, you can read and post messages under the appropriate category heading (About Google Talk, Problem-solving, Calls, Chats, and Voicemail, Third Party Clients). You can also read all the past discussions.

Log in to Google Talk, click Help, and then click user support discussion forum on the right side of our Help Center. Or just visit Talk Help Discuss, but you'll need to log in to your Google Account in order to post. This is an opportunity for Talkers to share practical information more efficiently. Categorically speaking, this is paramount.

Matt Baker
Online Operations Coordinator

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You talk, We listen

When I tell people that I work at Google, they always say, “Oh! You must love the food!” But what I really love is the collaboration between people and teams to produce the best experience for our users. The most recent version of Google Talk is a classic example of this team effort.

You may remember my blog post back in late April. I talked about some of the areas of Google Talk that the engineering and support teams were working together on improving. Now that we have a new version out, I thought I might highlight a few:

• ☑ Bug fixes: We’ve cleaned up the bugs mentioned in Wikipedia, along with a bunch that you all helped find. (Thanks again for reporting!)
• ☑ Better error messaging: You should now see ‘learn more’ links on many of our error messages, and you can always find the latest troubleshooting information here.
• ☑ New features: Of course! After a 1347% increase in suggestion submissions following my last post, there was no denying the numbers. Your #1 feature request was file transfer, which we’re happy to have launched. Look for updates to the form, and make sure to vote again!

Now, we’re off to the next version. I can’t tell you what your #2 and 3 suggestions were, but I do know that they’re on the way. Also, look for more improvements to the Help Center and Talk Help Discuss group.

Keep chatting!

Jeanne DeWitt
Online Operations Associate

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It's Finally Here!

Hooray! The new Google Talk features (file sharing, voicemail, and music status) have completed testing and are now available to everyone. Just use Google Talk normally, and it will auto-update to the new version over the next few days. If you just can't wait, you can download the new version directly. Each of the new features will be discussed here shortly, but I'm going to cover file transfer.

File and photo sharing in Google Talk works like you'd expect: Simple, fast, and fun. Simplicity means that you can drag and drop one or more files directly onto a chat window. As soon as your friend clicks 'Accept', the bits will start flowing. When the transfer completes, the recipient can open the file or find it on disk with a single click.

File transfer is fast. Google Talk makes a direct connection to your friend's computer whenever possible, enabling the fastest speed available. And even if your super-secure firewall won't allow a direct connection, we'll still get it there at a decent speed, because we're nice like that.

Photo sharing is fun! When you drop up to 10 photos on Google Talk, smaller previews automatically appear right inside the chat window, so you can chat about them right away. The previews adjust to the size of your chat window, so just enlarge the window when you want to see more detail. To view the images at full size, or to save them for later, click the 'Download Originals' link.

Brian McBarron
Software Engineer

P.S. Sharing folders works, too! Drop a folder onto Google Talk to share all of the directory's contents (including any subdirectories). It's an easy way to send a whole bunch of files to a friend.

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Google Talk on the mylo

For the past several months we've been working with partners who are leveraging the tools of Google Talk's open platform. Sony has just announced that its new WiFi device will feature Google Talk. The mylo communicator will be hitting stores in September.

The Sony mylo (short for "my life online") is a sleek handheld device that allows you to access a fun set of features from a WiFi network. With 1GB of memory you can store music and photos, browse the web, or use email and IM (the QWERTY keyboard comes in handy here). The mylo comes with built-in Google Talk IM support so you can see who's online and available, manage your contacts, and hold multiple chat conversations at once. It also features quick access to Gmail.

Look for the mylo in September. I can't wait to get my hands on one! When they are available in a few weeks, I'll head to the Sony Store at the Metreon on my street to get an update.

Mary Himinkool
New Business Development

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