Google Mail as Communications Hub

image When I am away from the office or home I still want to be able to communicate from anywhere and these days that means from a browser. A while ago I moved both my home and work emails over to Google Mail which has allowed me to get my email from anywhere but, until recently, I hadn’t managed the same for IM.

Google Mail has had a Chat gadget on the right hand side of the workspace for as long as I can remember but as I am not a Google Talk user it was of no use to me – or so I thought. The technology underlying Google Talk is the same as Jabber which has a concept called “transports” that allows different platforms to communicate. Using an appropriate transport I was able to link my Google Talk account with my MSN Messenger account and send and receive messages. This means that I can now work on emails and carry on IM conversations without having to install any software or log in to more than one service.

As usual for any Google service it is neatly implemented and very usable. However, setting the transport up in the first place can be a little tricky and does require you to do a one time install on a PC to get things setup but, in my experience, it is certainly worth the effort. Now all I want is a browser based Skype…

More details on setting up a transport from here.

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