Google introduced some minor but useful enhancements to its Google Talk instant messaging service earlier this week.
The Google Talk Gadget, a lightweight version of the Google Talk Client that doesn't require downloading, can now be made to appear as a separate window, using the "Pop out" command, if embedded in a Google Personalized Homepage. This makes the Google Talk Gadget appear in a separate browser window.
This "Pop out" function is also now available for those who want to embed a Google Talk button on their Web sites.
The Google Talk Gadget also gained new media viewing capabilities. Beyond the previously announced ability to view YouTube videos and Picasa Web Albums, users can now watch Flickr photo slideshows in Google Talk by pasting the URL from Flickr into the chat window.
The main difference between the Google Talk Gadget and the Google Talk Client is that the latter enables free PC-to-PC voice calls and file transfers.
The Google Talk Gadget can also be described as a widget, but Google insists on the term "gadget," perhaps for the sake of alliteration or because "gadget" suggests technical complexity that's somehow beyond mere widgets.