Google Talk for Virtual Visitation

As a long distance parent and a co-parent to a long distance parent, we have used many products, over the years. When we started our long distance parenting journey, it was the early 2000s and new tools were cropping up all over the place, and today’s standards (like skype), were still babies. I unabashedly admit that we are a google household. I have a droid, we all use google for email, documents, chat, websites, revenue etc, etc etc. It made sense that we would then try Google Talk.

  • First of all, it’s free. With Google Voice (which integrates), you get a phone number, can make calls and everything… and it’s all free.
  • No extra program. Although you can use the desktop client, Google chat shows up in gmail so it can be browser based. Browser based means that the google talk account and making phone calls from the google voice number can be done anywhere without installing software – as long as we have access to a web browser.
  • From time to time, google has a bug somewhere… but it’s rare that I’ve caught one. The few times (maybe three in 10 years) I’ve had to contact google about anything, they were on it and it was resolved quickly. And I’m not even paying them.
  • They offer a host of integration points.. ie, it will email you new voice mails, text them to you, transcribe them to text etc – and all of that is super easy to set up via their interface.
  • The underlying theme to the previous two points is that google is a top notch internet app company for a reason… it has great development processes and resources and it uses them well.
  • Since I installed it, I haven’t had to update the app once. It uses the technology that everything else uses so no updating java (or whatever weird thing skype wanted) every other day.
  • Since my son and his father started using google voice to do internet visitation, they haven’t had dropped calls, the video hasn’t inexplicably cut out and the sound is great.

We switched to google talk and google voice late last year and it’s been cake ever since. I highly recommend it for internet visitation between kids and parents. Google makes long distance parenting arrangements a whole lot easier.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Marc Schwachter

    Interesting post. I end up using skype because of it’s desktop application which is easier for my 6 and 8 year olds. Now that Skype has video for phone, It has closed the deal for me. Unless there is another video option which also has desktop client?

  2. Carrie

    If I understand what you are asking, Google talk, yahoo and aim all have desktop clients that do video and voice. There are tons of others but those are the biggest, I would assume. I like that google talk also integrates phone – and for free and without the trouble I had with skype. So, for me, it was a better solution.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.