Google Talk on the iPhone: Best replacements

google talk logo

Though instant messaging isn’t quite the craze it once was, many still rely on it in their day-to-day communications. One of the most popular services is Google Talk, but if you are an iPhone user you may have noticed there is no official application available through the App Store. This does not mean you won’t be able to chat away with your Google contacts on your iOS device, though.

Instead you will be faced with a choice of several apps to choose from when it comes to Google Talk, each of which comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. We’ll take a look at some of the best available, including the simple and sleek Verbs IM, the freemium offering Vtok, and newcomer Chat for GTalk.

Verbs IM

verbs-im

Verbs IM is a very simple offering that smartly models itself after Apple’s stock iOS messaging app. You won’t find much in the way of advanced features such as video calling and Google Voice integration, but it’s the perfect offering for those that use Google Talk as an alternate to SMS on their smartphones.

Some cool features to expect:

  • contact sync between Google account your iPhone address book
  • chat logs via email
  • in-app Office and iWork documents viewing
  • ability to save links for later viewing via Instapaper
  • picture messaging

Verbs IM also supports several other messaging platforms including Facebook, AIM, and MobileMe, so for those that want to consolidate all of their chatting into a single app, it should be worth a look. The basic version is available for $0.99 in the App Store, though a premium upgrade can be purchased for $4.99, which is said to offer greater security, battery savings, and push notifications. [DOWNLOAD]


Vtok

vtok

If you want a dedicated Google Talk messenger that includes services such as video chat, Vtok is the only app you will need. It gives you just about all the functionality you would expect from an official Google release, making it perhaps the most complete Google Talk solution available.

What you can expect:

  • video chat
  • Google Voice integration for voice calling and SMS
  • in-app browser for opening shared links
  • picture messaging

The catch is that many of the best Vtok features come as freemium purchases ranging from $0.99 to $1.99. Offsetting this is the fact that the app is available as a free download from the App Store, and aside from serving up a few ads offers complete text chat functionality at no additional charge. [DOWNLOAD]


Chat for GTalk

chat-for-gtalk

Chat for GTalk is the new kid on the block in relative terms, launching in March of 2013, but it has quickly become one of the go-to Google Talk replacements. It’s from the makers of IM+, so it does have some pedigree to its name. Chat for GTalk offers a fairly basic instant messaging experience, but it does provide several UI themes and an intuitive interface.

What to expect:

  • customizable UI with themes
  • picture messaging
  • integrated web browser

The main drawback of Chat for GTalk is its limited feature set, but other minor issues persist. Every theme save the default option is ghastly and there are some bugs with push notifications. Priced at $0.99, your dollar doesn’t go super far with Chat for GTalk, but the easy-to-navigate interface and no-frills approach makes it an appealing option. [DOWNLOAD]


Of course, there are plenty of other options for those looking for a robust messaging app. You might consider the previously mentioned IM+ as well as Beejive IM or eBuddy, but your mileage may vary. If a simple app for staying in touch with your Google Talk contacts is all you need, you can’t go wrong with any of the above recommendations.

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  • Russell Tanenbaum

    I’ve been using imo, which is a free app that works very well (and supports many different IM services). The major issue I’ve had is that it doesn’t always keep me logged in, and at times I’ve had to go through Google to give the app authority to access my google act. There was recently an update to the app, and I haven’t had that issue since I upgraded yesterday, so it might not be a problem anymore.

    I do think I’ll try the Verbs IM app though…

  • http://www.phandroid.com Kevin Krause

    for what it’s worth: I settled on Verbs IM and it works great, but after purchasing the Pro update it broke and won’t log me into my google account anymore. The only way to get logged back in is to uninstall the app and re-install without the pro update. anyone else experience this issue? I am contacting the Verbs people to see if I can get an answer.