What is Libjingle?

I've been following all the buzz over the weekend in the blogosphere about the Libjingle release. You can check it out for yourself using Google Blog Search.

I'm very pleased with all the excitement about what this technology can enable. However, when I read this post I realized that many of our users may not be clear on exactly what this means in terms of new capabilities and scenarios being enabled for Google Talk.

So, here are just a few of the possible scenarios that we hope will be enabled as a result of the release of Libjingle. I'm sure the developer community will come up with other innovations that we have not even considered.

1. Voice calls between other PC IM/VOIP clients such as Gaim, Adium, Psi, etc. and Google Talk.
Since we launched the beta of Google Talk in August, many users (especially those using Linux and Mac) have been connecting to the service using one of many 3rd party clients. However, up to now, these clients have only been able to send and receive IMs, but not make voice calls. With the release of Libjingle, the makers of these clients will be able to add the ability to make and receive calls between their clients and Google Talk. In fact, they'll be able to support calls between their clients and ANY OTHER clients that support Libjingle .

2. Voice calls between mobile devices and Google Talk!
More and more WiFi-enabled mobile devices (including WiFi-enabled mobile phones) are coming on the market. Imagine being away from your PC and still being able to have the same free high-quality calling experience you have today between PCs using Google Talk. I expect to see a lot of innovation here in 2006.

3. Peer-to-peer applications.
Did you know that nearly all calls made between Google Talk users happen directly between their two computers and don't go through servers? This type of peer-to-peer scenario is best whenever large amounts of data are being transferred in real-time between users (such as voice calls, video conferencing, file sharing, etc.). Libjingle includes the components necessary for developers to easily build a variety of peer-to-peer communication, collaboration, and sharing applications. We can't wait to see what the community builds.

There are many other uses for Libjingle as well, and hopefully this will shed some light on what users can expect to see as a result of this release.

Mike Jazayeri
Product Manager

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