Friday, October 13, 2006

Google Talk for Java Phones

A few days back, I came across MGTalk, which is a Jabber client supporting some of the features in Google Talk. After trying it out, I found it a very convenient tool when being away from a connected computer. Of course, you need GPRS - or some other data connectivity - on your phone.

It's a great product, even in early stages of the cycle (current version 0.2.2). It supports SSL connections, autoconnect & re-connect functionality, friend-list (roster) management, status management. Even smileys; that was quite a nice add-on. It's written for Java MIDP 2.0.

The installation is a breeze. You just get the application jar & JAD files on your phone and open them using your application installer. In case of Symbian Series 60 phones such as Nokia 6600, 6630, all of this amounts to simply selecting & clicking the jar file. All you do after the installation is just add your Google Talk username & password when adding an account & connect. You're on Google Talk!!

The project page at SourceForge gives some nice screenshots. The smileys are beautiful, the application stores chat history while it runs, & what's more, you get GMail notifications. All alerts are accompanied by a classic telephone ring, which won't let you miss anything.

A couple of downsides: it's not very stable when sharing the GPRS connection with others, such as the web browser. And when I tried to install it on multiple locations (memory cards), that didn't work very well. It survived on only one of the locations. Oh, and there's one more - it's not a signed application, causing some annoying pop-ups on Symbian phones.

All in all, a cool product which comes in very handy many times. Just can't wait to see how it turns up in the 1.0 release.

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