New version of Google Talk with avatars

Hey, it’s Friday afternoon for me, almost weekend so time to relax and write about something not related to computer security. Well, it might be related because a program in my computer updated all by itself without asking me for consent but I’ll talk about it another day.

I always have Google Talk connected in my computer, so people can reach and talk with me and I never turn it off. But today, after returning from lunch I got a big surprise, the Google Talk window was open in the middle of the desktop and it wasn’t looking as usual, some additional pictures were in the side of each of my contacts, so I had to imagine that a new version of the program had been released and the auto-update functionality had downloaded and installed it.

Surprise, surprise, seems like the promised Google Talk avatars have already been implemented. In January some screenshots had already shown how it worked, but I thought that it wasn't public yet. Well, as we&ll see at the end of the post it looks like it's not really public but it was in my computer 🙂

Here’s a capture of the main window (names have been deleted to protect the innocent):


When you put the cursor over a contact and additional window is opened with more data:


The avatar can be chosen between a selection of images provided by the program or you can load your own image.


There are 30 different pictures provided with Google Talk.


There have been more changes in the interface of the main window. For example, the Inbox link has disappeared and has been substituted by an icon which tells how many new e-mails there are.

The last change I have seen is in the Configuration options, where there is a new tab called Appearance where, theoretically, you can change the display in your conversations. You can choose between several themes, but sadly none of the options seems to do anything, although I’ll try to investigate it a bit further.


What is more surprising about this is that I haven’t been able to download this version from the official Google Talk page, as I wanted to try the avatars with my brother. The version downloadable from the page is and the version I have is So, when will Google make this official? And why do I have this version in my computer?

By the way, if you need to ask for it, please don’t do it, I won’t send it (unless I get something great in return , only a joke).

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