Google is saving the best for Android

I find Google’s choice to release an iPhone web app version of Google Talk a very interesting choice. It’s less than two weeks until we see some true applications for the iPhone and this release clearly highlights the limits of the current browser functions. When you switch away from the window, you become unavailable. It’s rather self-defeating as it negates any presence opportunities and forces chat into a very task based activity which is awkward. Most of us leave chat running in the background all the time ..

I tried the site on the N95 while on the train and it was not detected. There does not appear to be a /i version either for the moment and the iPhone URL does not exactly work.

What’s really interesting though is how different Google’s approach is for Android. After installing Android on the Nokia N810 last night I noticed that there is an xmpp service running ALL THE TIME. While this will clearly connect you to the Google cloud and your services it will also open up some very interesting presence and communication opportunities.
Android seems like it will have chat and probably presence as a core service.

The study published yesterday highlights how consumers are most interested in messaging – text and email, before additional features and functions like a and having a camera. From an application perspective people only tend to install around 6 things. If chat is a core service it could do some serious damage to the sms revenues carriers love and certainly be quite the kickstart to changing consumer behavior.

It’s not clear yet who will be buying the devices when they arrive aside from the early adopter types, but it’s pretty easy to see how IM could replace a good portion of your current text needs. I currently get news alerts in addition to the usual exchanges with friends over text. If there was an always on IM option running as a service on my connected device, I’d be all over that instead.

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