Instant Messages

Instant messages are much like text messages or multimedia messages, but they work with other people who are online, not necessarily just those for whom you have a phone number. The Android phone comes with several options for sending instant messages.

Because the Android phone is Android based and many of the core applications belong to Google, you automatically have the Google Talk IM service enabled on your phone. On the Android phone, Google Talk behaves similarly to text messaging. You receive Google Talk messages as if they were text messages, and they're archived with previous text messages.

YeIIOYY Google Talk is Google's answer to instant messaging. It's an application that's both ' part of Gmail and standalone through the downloadable Google Talk app. It allows you to instant message other Google account users (which means they're also Gmail users, because you're signed up for Gmail when you sign up for a Google account).

The real difference is that, with Google Talk, other Google Talk users can message you on your phone. You don't have to be on a computer; you just need a connection through your phone. You do have to initialize your Google Talk account on your Android phone before it becomes active, but after you do that, it's always on.

To activate the Google Talk account, select IM from the applications menu. The Select Account window appears, as shown in Figure 3.8. You should see options for AIM, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger. Touch Google Talk; you're prompted to enter your Google Talk account username and password. Your Friends list then is displayed on your screen.

FIGURE 3.8_

Use the Select an Account window to choose which IM service you want to connect to. You can use multiple services.

A green dot indicates friends who are online, and their picture appears next to their name (if they have set up a picture or avatar to display). Friends who are not online are shown with a gray circle that contains an X, and no picture is displayed.

Also on the screen is your status icon and the avatar or picture that is displayed by your name when you're using Google Talk with another person. You can change that picture by touching it and selecting a new one, and you can change your status by touching the small button next to your picture and selecting a new status.

Google Talk isn't the only option you have for instant messaging. As you saw, AIM, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger are also available options.

To set up any one of those accounts, touch the account type in the Select Account screen. Then follow the onscreen prompts to sign in or create an

GoogltTak account

[email protected]

Windows Live Messenger

Yahoo! Messenger account:

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FIGURE 3.8_

Use the Select an Account window to choose which IM service you want to connect to. You can use multiple services.

account. All the accounts work in much the same way. Your status is displayed, although not all of the IM accounts allow for pictures or avatars. You also have a friends list that shows who is available or online and who is not. In each IM account, you also have a set of available options that you can access by pressing the Menu button. The options differ a little with each program, depending on how the IM service is set up, but you'll see these basics:

■ Capabilities to view, add, or remove contacts

■ Capability to block users from contacting you

■ Account list that takes you to the IM accounts page

■ Settings options

One cool factor with the IM capabilities of the G1 is that you can be signed into multiple IM applications at any given time. So if you're using both Google Talk and Yahoo! Messenger, or even if you're using all the available IM applications, you can have as many open at any given time as you like.

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