Bringing the web and desktop together

The philosophy for the Google Talk team is to enable real time communication where and how people need it, across different platforms, devices, and operating systems. Towards these goals, we have made Google Talk available through web interfaces like Gmail chat and the Google Talk gadget, as well as directly from the desktop through our own downloadable client and via many XMPP clients. We have faced some challenges in keeping the capabilities for each of these versions of Google Talk up to date, and we have heard your feedback on striving towards more feature parity across all versions.

While recently we have spent more time on web integration scenarios, we have also been developing a new client that allows our downloadable and web versions of Google Talk to move forward together more quickly. The Google Talk, Labs Edition release is a sneak peek into this work. Of note in this Labs Edition release is its use of the open source Webkit engine to host the Google Talk gadget. We've used Webkit to bring the Talk gadget out of your browser, and onto your desktop, able to run in the Taskbar. Google Talk, Labs Edition combines “downloadable client behavior”, like stacking notifications and displaying presence outside the browser, with nearly all of the web behaviors of the Google Talk gadget, such as emoticons, multi-user chat, tabbed conversations, etc. It can also natively display web notifications from multiple sources, such as Gmail and calendar alerts and Orkut scrap changes. A few weeks ago we added invisible mode to the Google Talk Gadget, and this functionality immediately extended to Google Talk Labs Edition.

Google Talk, Labs Edition is a first step towards a more unified experience whether you're using Talk through the web or on the desktop. Some of our savvy users may already appreciate the advantages of this approach, and we are confident that the continued improvements being made will translate into a better Google Talk experience for all our users.

Chee Chew
Engineering Director

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More Translation Bots!

Back in December, we released translation bots for Google Talk. While machine translation isn't 100% accurate, the idea of reducing language barriers with automated chat translations appealed to many people, and we received a lot of positive feedback. So when Google Translate recently added new languages, we decided to create chat bots for these languages.

The new bots speak Bulgarian (bg), Croatian (hr), Czech (cs), Danish (da), Finnish (fi), Hindi (hi), Norwegian (no), Polish (pl), Portuguese (pt), Romanian (ro), Swedish (sv) and Traditional Chinese (zh-hant).

There are 26 new bots: bg2en, cs2en, da2en, en2bg, en2cs, en2da, en2fi, en2hi, en2hr, en2no, en2pl, en2pt, en2ro, en2sv, en2zh-hant, fi2en, hi2en, hr2en, no2en, pl2en, pt2en, ro2en, sv2en, zh-hant2en, zh-hant2zh, zh2zh-hant. For reference you can also check out the full list of supported language combinations. To add one of these bots to your contacts, remember to use the following format [from language]2[to language]

Toivon, että pidät siitä!

For those that don't know Finnish...

Jonas Lindberg
Software Engineer

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