Last week, TechCrunch posted a little announcement that got all 9 people who still used AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) very excited, as all their buddies had already left the dying empire and migrated to Google Talk, and AIM was starting to get kind of boring without them. AOL to the rescue - the company (or whatever is left of it) quietly announced that starting sometime this week, AIM and Google Talk users would be able to become BFFs again, all without switching away from their respective clients.
While roaming around Google I/O and looking for answers to numerous questions you guys posed, I ran into Wei Huang, the tech lead on Google Talk for Android. Yup, the same guy who announced video chat two weeks ago on the Google Mobile blog. Here are some questions I had for Wei, echoing many of you guys:
One of Android 2.3.4's main new features, which was officially released to the Nexus S late last week, was video and audio calling in Google Talk. While having this feature on the Nexus S is great for its owners, Android users of other devices were left behind. If there is one thing Android users don't like to do, it's wait, which is why britoso from xda managed to rip out the app from his Nexus S and modify it to be compatible with most devices running Android 2.3.
On Monday we told you that Google may bring video chat to Android 2.3.4, and that we expect an announcement at Google I/O. It looks like we got it half right - Google has officially announced Talk with Video Chat integration in Android 2.3.4, but we didn't have to wait until I/O to find out.
The service looks like it will work almost identical to its desktop counterpart: the status icon displays whether or not the person is available for video chat (or capable of it).
After a bunch of relatively uninteresting premium apps given out for free in Amazon's Android Appstore, today's offering is really quite refreshing. Users of the desktop version of Trillian will instantly recognize their beloved multi-network IM client's logo, and those new to it will find its features quite impressive:
- support for AIM, Facebook, Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, ICQ, and, of course, Google Talk
- Trillian synchronizes contacts, avatars, statuses, and accounts between Android, Mac, Windows, and Web clients
- push notifications for those on Android 2.2+
- multiple chat windows, emoticons, and more
While Trillian is no longer my client of choice on the desktop (Digsby took that spot), I must say that if you're looking for a great multi-network IM client on Android, it's hard to go wrong with this [normally $4.99] offering from Cerulean Studios.
Today has definitely been one of the more exciting days this year, at least in the Android department. Last week, Google sent out invitation for a Honeycomb-related event, where we, of course, were expecting detailed walkthroughs of Android 3.0 and hands-on with the Motorola XOOM.
Rumors of the web store that was promised almost a year ago as well as Google Music, teased at the same time at Google I/O last year, were flying, and one of them definitely came true today - we've finally got ourselves a web-based Market with over-the-air app installations.