google talk labs Both you and I have been complaining for quite awhile that Google needs to provide an updated desktop version of the Google Talk instant messenger, and it looks like they are listening after all. Over the weekend they released a new version called Google Talk, Labs Edition that is currently in testing. Sounds great, right?

Google almost got it right. They took their existing Google Talk gadget that is powered by Flash, and wrapped it into an actual installable application. That means you get things such as group chat capabilities, tabbed conversations, nice smilies, and enjoy the integration with Flickr/YouTube. Not only that but they also included a new notifications system (pictured to the right) that will show you when you receive new Gmail emails or have an upcoming appointment on Google Calendar. It’s almost everything I wanted.

The downside? Well, it looks as though they took one step forward and two steps back. This desktop version of Google Talk doesn’t include the best aspects of the existing desktop client, which are file transfers and voice chat. Bummer! Seeing that the new version utilizes their Flash client I was also expecting it to be cross-platform (Windows, Linux, and Mac), but it’s only available for Windows.

So maybe we need to make ourselves a little clearer… Dear Google, we wanted new features added to the existing Google Talk client. Not an entirely new application.

[via Google OS]