Using iChat with Google Talk

Image representing Google Talk as depicted in ...

Image via CrunchBase

I bought my wife (and myself) a white MacBook last week. Her birthday is next month, and with Apple's newly updated aluminum notebooks the previous model white notebook was put on sale. Her previous laptop, an 8-year-old Dell Inspiron, was a joke and a pain in my neck. It was held together with duct tape. The battery held no charge, so it had to be plugged in all the time. It could only connect to the Wi-Fi from one or two spots in the house. I spent a lot of time troubleshooting one problem after another. So this laptop was two gifts in one; an expensive birthday gift for my wife and lots of free time for me.

I spent about 30 minutes setting things up. I created an admin account, created her non-admin account, connected the laptop to the network, set up Mail.app to read her Gmail, linked her Gmail contacts to OS X's AddressBook, installed one software patch, linked her iTunes to the Mac mini's media library, and finally, set up iChat to use Google Talk.

iChat Video and Google Talk

iChat Video with Google TalkGoogle Talk uses Jabber, an open instant messaging protocol. Apple built support for Jabber into the Leopard version of iChat. I added the account via the Accounts tab in the Preferences pane and was given a pleasant surprise once I logged in. A little camera style icon appeared next to my wife's name in the contact list. I excited clicked it to find that I could initiate and conducts video chats via my Gtalk account. Audio and video quality were excellent with very little of that delay I've seen when using Skype. I can not find any official documentation on Google site about this, but others have been doing this for some time. I take my MacBook to work each day, and it would be nice to video chat with my wife during the day.

You Might Also Like

  • kOoLiNuS
    10th March 2009 at 2:25 PM

    Agree ... And when the time is due, or if you just feel hacking terminal.app la just a CMD + Space away!


    • Khürt Williams
      10th March 2009 at 7:51 PM

      Exactly! I can have my cake and UNIX too!

  • Khürt Williams
    10th March 2009 at 7:12 PM

    Andre, I bought my first Mac in 2005 and fell in love. It was the first computer system I have ever used that did not require a lot of technical knowledge (like Linux and UNIX) and did not crash repeatedly (like Windows). As an IT professional I highly recommend the Mac for regular home use. I plan on buying and iMac for the kids this spring and kicking all the PCs to the curb. I am sick and tired of dealing with security patches, and anti-virus updates, and rebooting. In my experience, the Mac just works.

    • Andre John
      12th March 2009 at 1:42 PM

      I'm thinking of making the change to an iMac or macbook this year on of our computers. So during the transition, our home network will be in a mixed state of both apples and windows. Do you know if there is a way to remote desktop from windows into an apple? Let me know what the experience was like in terms of performance and ease in setting up. Thanks!

      • Khürt Williams
        12th March 2009 at 4:56 PM

        I have a mixed environment of Windows, Macs, Linux and BSD-UNIX so I understand the need for interconnection. It's easy when using standard protocols and services but ... Microsoft never plays nice.

        You can connect from Mac OS X to Windows using Microsoft free Remote Desktop Connection for Mac. You can remote to a Mac from Windows using Virtual Network Computing (VNC). While Macs (and UNIX and Linux) support the standard VNC service out of the box, Windows does not. For Windows you will need to install a VNC client.

        <a href="http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows/tabbed-rem..." target="_blank">http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows/tabbed-rem... - Tabbed VNC
        http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows/tabbed-rem... - Tabbed VNC.
        http://www.microsoft.com/mac/products/remote-desk... - RDP for Mac.

  • Andre Williams
    10th March 2009 at 4:35 PM

    We currently own a Dell Laptop that I like but Vista is bit unstable to say the least. I dont like. I think I will consider a mac in our next purchase. It seems the capability of MAC is much more rich and stable.

%d bloggers like this: