Google's chat client drops Jabber compatibility
Google is currently deploying an update for its Talk chat client that will replace it with the new Hangouts app. Introduced last week at the I/O developer conference in San Francisco, the Hangouts application is designed to put an end to having three simultaneously available real-time Google communication services – Talk, Google+ Messenger and the original Google+ Hangouts – and is available for Android, iOS, Windows, and as a Chrome extension.
With its improved video chat and group conversation features and enhanced synchronisation of multiple devices, Hangouts is more powerful than its predecessor and presents a potential challenge for successful services such as Skype, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. The developers also plan to integrate at least some features of the Google Voice telephony service.
However, Hangouts has one serious disadvantage compared to Talk: it no longer recognises the XMPP open source chat protocol, better known as Jabber. This format enabled Google Talk to communicate with any XMPP account, even if the account isn't registered with a Google server, and therefore, users who have many chat contacts outside of Google should think twice before they update to Hangouts. These users could potentially lose access to numerous contacts.