You might have noticed that Messenger app for Windows 8 is not receiving much love. This is due to Microsoft’s strategy of deprecating Messenger in favour of Skype. While you will still be able to connect to all your existing Messenger contacts in Skype, those amongst us who would like to stick to our old Google Talk + Facebook combo may not be very pleased with this as neither Messenger or Skype support Google Talk. Also many of us do not use Skype at all and just need a simple IM client. Talk.to fits the bill perfectly.
While you might be glad to know that talk.to has apps across all major platforms, we are more interested in a full fledged, minimal, chat client for Windows 8 which supports GTalk and Facebook. While some of you may grumble at the lack of support for other services, these two services do represent a huge majority.
Features of Talk.to
- Supports Facebook, Gmail and Windows Live
- Access your chat history across multiple devices
- Delivery and Read reports
- Send files in IM
- Simple, Clean User interface
Talk.to is perhaps one of the cleanest and well thought-of chat client at the moment for Windows 8, with simple and easy to use interface. Thankfully for a change there are no hidden controls in the appbar, which is an annoying norm off late for Windows 8 apps. There is a very judicious usage of buttons which makes the app look very sleek.
While at first shot, you will notice that there is a nice chunk of whitespace, wasted at the right. However, this is not a major issue and the rest of the design is pretty much perfect. I personally liked listing of people online by name instead of smattering thumbnails, requiring endless left to right scrolling especially in Facebook. A handy addition is the ability to close conversations, something which I sorely missed in Messenger. Also the collection of smileys for now is underwhelming.
Shockingly, the app does not support snapped view, something which actually made messenger useable. However, future update is supposed to bring the feature.
Talk.to in my usage never failed to deliver a message, something which is often seen in third party clients. Another feather in its cap is the fact that toast notifications worked flawlessly in Talk.to. Something that never did in Windows 8’s own Messenger app. The auto correct functionality included is pretty impressive too, but it may get on your nerves at times.
I never missed a new message with Talk.to. Cherry on the cake is, delivery reports, which work well for both GTalk and Facebook Chat. Oh and the file transfer feature also worked perfectly. The interesting fact is that, Talk.to relies on it’s own server to transfer files rather than relying on GTalk or Facebook’s native file transfer features.
However there are some minor issues. I noticed some missing chats every time I launched the app afresh. Searching and opening the contact manually correctly displayed all the conversation though.
Download: Talk.to [1.96 MB]
Finally, Talk.to brings a very efficient Modern Style IM client for Windows 8, while being sleek and minimal in terms of design. A must have if you are searching for a better alternative to the already deprecated Messenger and don’t use any other IM service other than Google Talk or Facebook Chat.