What good Google Talk (or in general: XMPP) apps can I recommend to my non-Android friends (especially iPhone users)?

I'm fed up using many different apps to chat with some of my contacts. I just want to 'talk' to any of them with that single solution.

Google Talk's usefulness increases by network effects, i.e. can you reach all your contacts (who may use iOS (iPhone), Windows Phone, Blackberry, others) with one single solution?

Existing solutions and what I don't like about them:

  • WhatsApp (proprietary, paid app, battery hog?, has privacy concerns)
  • eMail (pretty much ok, but not that realtime)
  • SMS (needs GSM, costs too much, no added value)
  • Facebook chat (proprietary, battery hog?, privacy concerns, not all want to sign up)
  • Skype chat (proprietary, battery hog?, privacy concerns)
  • iMessage (proprietary, incompatible with Android?)

If you have too many of those apps installed you will see a difference in battery life in the end. Google Talk is already there and connected either way, so I prefer this (and not WhatsApp).

Side note for iOS: iOS' push notification system seems to be the reason why the decent apps there are paid apps. (Need to relogin every 7 days to keep push messages alive and such, i don't really know).

- There's a way to encrypt Talk messages, so it's not a privacy concern
- is Talk open: Yes (it's XMPP). I have friends with accounts on their own servers that i 'talk' to
- You can use 3rd party Jabber clients to login to Talk

  • For the record: I know it's not that directly an android question but it bothers me and I haven't found anything decent on iOS (that doesn't cost 10$) that really works. Apple wants iMessage and Google's effort is almost null and void (there's only a web app for talk officially, eww). I just need some arguments and a working path to convice them to switch to talk (the easier the better. WhatsApp is really good at this) – ce4 Jun 24 '12 at 11:07
  • 2
    Although Google Talk is certainly well integrated into Android, finding non-Android apps that work with it seems rather out of the scope of this site. If you want iOS specific answers then you may want to craft some version of this over at Ask Different (assuming it falls within their FAQ - I don't know that). – eldarerathis Jun 25 '12 at 1:19
  • Well, I really anticipated that. In fact, I had rather loved to take this to the chat first however there's only little activity and not many are logged in regularly. Where should I ask (besides on meta) next time I'm unsure a question fits or not next time? Plus: only common thing in the answer is 'talk', WP doesnt fit think different either. Honestly: saying it bothers me as'n android user so much that I want a single answer for all diffrnt OSes for talk. That's why I considered it being a (not so good) but partially fitting android enthusiast question (google talk enthusiast speaking here). – ce4 Jun 25 '12 at 22:37

Apple iOS

No official native solution by Google (except for the safari web-app with a subpar user experience)

Beware: All 3rd party providers seem to need your friend's plain google password to be able to offer push support (not just their app)! All have some sort of session timeout for push notifications (when the app is in background): Needs a relogin after that timeout (eww!).

3rd party apps I found:

  • IM+ Pro, free, ad supported, push with unknown session timeout
  • IM+, 9.99$, no ads and longer push session timeouts as above. Good reviews.
  • BeejiveIM for GTalk: free, push session timeout up to 7 days, no voice/video
  • Chat for Google Talk Pro: 0.99$, push with unknown session timeout, noticed bad reviews in Germany, good in US though

Windows Phone



has good support, download here





Send me your findings, I'll happily include them here.

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