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Basics of Google Talk for Android Phones

Get started with Google Talk by starting the Talk app on your Droid phone. Like all apps, it can be found on the App menu of your Android phone, though you may be lucky and find the Talk app shortcut right on the Home screen.

When you start the Talk app the first time, you’re prompted to sign in using your Google account: Touch the Sign In button. After signing in, you see the main Talk screen. Your Google contacts who have activated Google Talk, either on a computer or on a mobile gizmo such as an Android phone, are shown along with whether they’re available to chat.

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You can do one of three things with your friends while using the Talk app: text-chat, voice-chat, or video-chat. But before you do any of these, you need to get some friends.

  • Set your status by touching your account name at the top of the list. You can also set a status message and determine whether you’re available for voice or video chat.

  • To sign out of Google Talk, press the Menu soft button and choose the Sign Out command.

Inviting a friend to Google Talk with your Android phone

Yeah, it happens: You have no friends. Well, at least you have no friends showing up on the Friends list in the Talk app. This problem can easily be fixed by heeding these steps in the Talk app:

  1. Press the Menu soft button.

  2. Choose the Add Friend command.

  3. Type your friend’s name or e-mail address.

    As you type, matches from your phone’s address book appear in a list. Choose a friend from the list to instantly stuff their address into the text box.

  4. Touch the Send Invitation button.

The best way for your pal to receive the invitation is for them to be using a mobile device that’s running the Talk app or to be on a computer with the Gmail web page open. After receiving the invitation, the friend finds it listed in their Friends list; Google Talk initiations have the heading Chat Invitation.

Your friend can be on a computer or a mobile device to use Google Talk; it doesn’t matter which. But they must have a camera available in order to video-chat.

Typing to your friends on Google Talk

The most basic form of communications with the Talk app is text chatting, or typing at another person, which is probably one of the oldest forms of communications on the Internet. It’s also the most tedious.

Text chatting starts by touching a contact from the Friends list. Type your message, and touch the Send button to send your comment.

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You type, they type, and so on until you grow tired or the phone runs out of battery juice.

When you’re done talking, press the Menu soft button and choose the Friends List command to return to the main Talk screen. You can choose another friend from the list to chat with or press the Home soft button to do something else with your phone.

Resume a conversation by choosing the same contact from the Friends list.

Talking and video chat with Google Talk for Android

Take the conversation up a notch by touching either the Voice or Video button on the right side of the text chat window. The Camera icon means that video chat is available; the Microphone icon indicates that voice (not video) chat is available; the round dot means text-only.

When you start a voice or video chat, your friend receives a pop-up invite and a Talk notification. Or, if a friend is asking you to voice- or video-chat, you see the pop-up. Touch the Accept button to begin talking.

The person you’re talking with appears in the big window, and you’re in the smaller window. With the connection made and the invite accepted, you can begin enjoying video chat.

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The controls atop the screen may vanish after a second; touch the screen to see the controls again.

To end the conversation, touch the X (Close) button. Well, say “Goodbye” first, and then touch the X button.

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