On Monday Google planted file transferring capabilities into its Web-based chat services. The feature is free of charge, file size limits, and headaches.
An Old Friend
File transfer, which has been a part of the Google Talk desktop client since 2006, is now available on Talk widgets within iGoogle and Orkut. The feature is easy to use and can handle files of any size:
This addition seems to be good news all around. For one, because our obsession with the cloud means desktop clients are losing their thunder, therefore any addition to Web-based solutions is a plus. For two, because Google aims to eventually integrate this functionality into Gmail.
Imagine wanting to share a file that exceeds Gmail's attachment limit (we're sure many of you have been there). What would you do? Upload it to Google Docs? Open up an external file sharing and storage service? Whatever the case, it's probably inconvenient. Now imagine simply hopping onto Talk from within Gmail and sending whatever you need to whoever needs to get it. Nice, right?
There are some tiny drawbacks, of course. The main one being the fact that the person you're sending the file to actually has to be on chat to approve the transfer (online and invisible doesn't count). This will be a roadblock for users interested in sending files for later review or discussion, as not everyone is always online at the same time. But hey, it's still the beginning.
Sign in to iGoogle or Orkut, explore, and let us know what you think.