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I use both gTalk on Desktop and Google Talk on Android (phone) - at the same time. However, it only seems to sync from Desktop to Android and not the other way round?

At the start of the conversation and providing I stay on the Desktop, messages are received to both devices. Messages I send on gTalk (desktop) appear instantly on Google Talk on Android. The chat history with gTalk (desktop) is automatically emailed to my gmail address. This is good, and means I can instantly pick up the conversation on my phone as I go mobile.

HOWEVER, messages I send from the Android app do not appear in the gTalk client on my desktop and neither are these messages included in the chat history email to my gmail address. Also, once I continue the conversation in the Android app, the desktop client no longer receives the messages sent to me - they are now only received to my Android device. Is there anyway of "fixing" this?

EDIT: I have since come across the following question from 2½ years ago, "How do Gmail (desktop) and Talk (Android) chats interact?" - this goes someway to explain why this happens, but that is an old question and I struggle to believe that this behaviour has not been updated in this time. Is there really no other workaround?

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2 Answers

I believe it uses some kind of push messaging that doesn't trigger when you send the message. I believe that after you type a message the desktop gTalk, the ones sent from the phone show up too. Am I right ?

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Unfortunately the messages typed on the phone (and those received only to the phone once I've responded on the phone) stay only on the phone. When I move back to the desktop app I do not see the messages on the phone. This "problem" got me today... I had moved the conversation to Google Talk on my phone (having previously been on desktop). At this point the messages stopped appearing on my desktop client. The other person sent me some (long) links that I needed to open on the desktop - I had to ask the person to send the links again once I was back on the desktop. –  w3d May 8 '13 at 10:54
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The new Google Hangouts (that replaces the talk app on Android and is available as a Chrome Extension) appears to resolve this issue. You can move freely between the Android app and the desktop and continue the conversation, with the full chat history visible.

Hangouts isn't quite a separate application on the desktop, as it is installed as a Chrome Extension, but it uses the Chrome API and runs as a background app (when Chrome isn't running) and appears as an icon in the system tray (optional).

I've only just started using it and reviews are mixed, but it seems pretty good so far.


Incidentally, you do need to be using "Hangouts" on all devices. I first updated the Android Talk app (the "Talk" app is replaced with "Hangouts"). Whilst this communicated OK with a remote user on gTalk, I still had the issue of the local gTalk desktop client not being updated.

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