iGoogle Gets Direct Access to Gmail Chat

Google’s Gmail Chat (aka Google Talk) feature is now available within your custom iGoogle homepage.

Google added the chat functionality into iGoogle this week, noting that with the recent redesign, Gmail access was available — but instant messaging was not.

“Having the ability to work on email right on my iGoogle page has been awesome, but I simply couldn’t get the same Gmail experience without the chat feature,” writes Google Talk engineer Rhett Robinson.

iGoogle Chat

The new function pulls your chat settings from Gmail and gives you a similar setup. It also adds an option for non-Gmail users to sign up for iGoogle-based chat with any working e-mail address.

Google has been testing the feature on a small-scale for some time, Robinson says. It will be rolled out to all U.S.-based iGoogle users over the coming days. You can manually add it onto your account immediately, however, by clicking here.