The long-awaited Google Talk for iPhone is finally available, and it’s not in the form of an iPhone application. Instead, it’s simply a browser app which makes us wonder why it took Google over a year to make something for the iPhone. Perhaps they were too busy working on stuff for their own Android?

Anyway, Google Talk is available and was designed just for the iPhone. All iPhone users need to do is go to www.google.com/talk in safari, sign-in, and then they’ll be able to start chatting. Because we sold our iPhones on eBay so that we could upgrade to the iPhone 3G next week, we weren’t able to test this out first-hand, but from what others have said, it works exactly as it should. The one downside that we can see is that if you navigate away from the browser or open up a new window, your status is changed to “unavailable” and then when you return, your session will be restarted.

At first glance you may think that this doesn’t benefit you in any way because you don’t own an iPhone. Fortunately that isn’t the case, and there is actually a practical way that Opera and Firefox users can put this to good-use. Think Sidebar.

This new version of Google Talk for the iPhone fits really nicely in the sidebar of Firefox and Opera. Those of you who load sites in your sidebar already will know exactly what to do to get Google Talk up-and-running there. For those of you that don’t, you’ll want to reference this article here where we explain how it’s done for both browsers. Below are the links that you’ll need if you want to use Google Talk in your sidebar:

For a Google Account: http://talkgadget.google.com/talkgadget/m
For a Google Apps account: http://hostedtalkgadget.google.com/a/mydomain.com/talkgadget/m

(Credit to Digital Inspiration for providing the links)

google talk iphone 2.png

Above is a screenshot of what Google Talk for iPhone looks like in the sidebar of Firefox. In no time, you’ll have a simple and clean version of Google Talk running in your sidebar. For those of you who prefer things simple, you’ll probably get a lot of using out of Google Talk for the iPhone, even if you don’t own an iPhone!

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