Google announced today via the Google Talk blog that the next big feature to grace the Gchat instant messaging service available to Gmail users will be the ability to send files.
I tested this out, and sure enough, on the iGoogle page, I can choose to send files to other people using Gchat. However, this feature only works with Orkut and iGoogle, and that means on both ends.
For example, right now if you try to send a file from iGoogle to someone using Gchat through the Gmail web interface, you’ll get an error message saying that the other person isn’t using a supported client.
This seems like a pretty big shortcoming on Google’s part. After all, most of us Gchat junkies live inside Gmail, not on iGoogle. Fortunately, Google says that they’ll let us send files within Gmail soon.
As far as the transfer itself, performance is sort of a mixed bag. On a pretty powerful internet connection (we’re talking more than 5 Mbps up in actual performance), we were able to transfer a 30 MB file at a rate of something like 100 kilobytes a second.
The size limit, however, is pretty nice. You can send up to a whopping 100 megabytes per file, which is far more generous than anything else we’ve seen in IM file transfers.