Google Now is great, but it’s not the only way to get useful information from Google on your smartphone. If you want Google Now-style data, but don’t have a Jelly Bean (or rooted Ice Cream Sandwich phone), just fire up Google Talk on your smartphone and add [email protected] to your contact list. Ask Guru what you want to know, and get instant, useful replies.
The Gmail team admits in a blog post that options for video, voice and group chat were “curiously tucked away” in the lower-left corner, so they’ve taken steps to fix it.
Linux only: It will only ever truly support Jabber/XMPP/Google Talk, but Synapse, a new alpha-level IM app, is a pretty—and pretty efficient—way to chat if you’re all about open-source communication.
The developer of Synapse has a goal of spreading the love for XMPP, which is an open, extensible chat standard. That’s great for the open-minded set, and users of Google Talk, which conforms to the standard, but is obviously a bit restricting, given the number of contacts one might have on “legacy” systems like AIM or MSN. There might be room in the future for server-side conversion of other protocols to XMPP, but for the time being, it’s open-source or the road.
That said, even in a theoretically buggy alpha, Synapse looks great.
Google just launched an iPhone-friendly interface for its web-based Google Talk client—point your mobile Safari to google.com/talk to see it in action. Firefox users, this also means, as the Digital Inspiration blog points out, you’ve got a friendly little GChat client you can keep loaded in your sidebar (create a bookmark, check “Load in sidebar”), but any browser can access the interface through talkgadget.google.com/talkgadget/m.
If you use Twitter in Australia, you know that you need to SMS a UK-based number to update (or tweet). That could work out to be expensive! I’m going to go through a few options which might work out cheaper for you. Today let’s look at using Google Talk.To update Twitter via IM from your Gtalk account, you’ll need to add Twitter as a contact.
Here’s how – just add [email protected] as your contact in GTalk and then go to the Twitter home page to add IM as a method of updating. On the left hand side of the page you’ll see a link to “add device” – hit that, then put in your IM account details. It will give you a password to send to twitter via IM to confirm. You can also send an IM saying “Help” if you want further information.
Now whenever you IM this new friend called Twitter, the message will automatically publish on your Twitter account. It seems to appear pretty quickly too.