Continuing its push into the mobile space, Google is making its Google Talk instant messaging service available to BlackBerry users, Google and Blackberry maker Research In Motion announced Thursday.
Google Talk for BlackBerry is a version of the instant messaging application that was designed for BlackBerry devices. The application will be much like Google Talk for PCs so when users download the client software they'll see their existing Google Talk contact list, be able to add and alter contacts, know when contacts are online and send and receive messages. Users will be notified on the home screen of the BlackBerry when new messages arrive in Google Talk.
BlackBerry users can download the application for free but they may be charged by their mobile operator for data transmitted when using the service.
Google Talk for BlackBerry is expected to be available in the second quarter.
Third-party companies have already developed similar clients for mobile devices. For example, MessageVine last September launched a Google Talk instant messaging client for mobile devices, including the BlackBerry. But MessageVine's product would have been sold to device makers, operators or enterprises.
Google also said that Google Local for Mobile is now available on the BlackBerry. Google Local users can view maps and satellite images and get directions. Google Local for mobile was introduced to Java-enabled phone users in November.
Google has made a series of announcements about services for mobile users over the past year. Last week, Motorola said it would integrate a Google icon onto many phones that will give users a shortcut to the Google search engine. Last year, Google created a search mechanism that indexes Web pages specifically designed for mobile devices.