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macOS Google Hangouts/XMPP chat client.
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Sidetalk is a new way to chat with your friends on Google Hangouts (and soon any Jabber service). Instead of a bunch of floating windows, Sidetalk tucks away neatly into the side of your screen. You can always see at a glance who's available to chat with, whether anybody is typing, and any new messages that come in. Check out the full marketing site at

This app is on the Mac App Store, but it is also free and open source.


Please see the in-product getting started guide, or visit the Sidetalk support site for help using the application.

Known issues

Most of what's wrong with the app are what it doesn't already do; that's covered below. Here's what -is- in there that doesn't work so well:

  1. I don't think I'm loading everyone's names in the optimal way. I seem to pick up some but not others.
  2. If you're scrolled upwards and you are messaged, the resulting notification is still offscreen at the bottom.
  3. It's still possible for a notification to overlap with your current conversation if you've typed out more than one line.

What's next

Here is the list of what I'd love to tackle next. I'd love feedback on what would be most helpful to you.

  1. Pinned contacts, so the most important people you always chat with are always at hand.
  2. More customization: colors, placements, sizes, etc. What do you most want to customize? A lot is possible.
  3. Setting your presence. Right now sidetalk doesn't even set you to available or away or anything like that.
  4. Formatted messages. Bold, italics, etc. Probably not colors.

There are many more much, much larger things (stored conversation history; detachable conversation windows; multiple accounts; etc) that I'm also thinking about, but they're too numerous to list here.



  • new features!
    • contact management: right-click on a contact to star or hide it. to restore a hidden contact, check the sidetalk menu.
    • short conversation history: the last few messages of each conversation are remembered and restored.
    • mute and hide settings are now saved and restored when you relaunch Sidetalk.
  • fixed many bugs:
    • connection/login crashes will no longer take out the app.
    • couldn't scroll to the very top of a conversation.
    • couldn't click on links in the latest message sometimes.
    • sometimes text measurement would end up wrong and text would then end up in the wrong bubble.
    • messages with just one unicode emoji would fail.
    • in Sierra, pressing escape caused annoying alert sounds.
    • should reset scroll to the bottom of a conversation when a message comes in background.


  • added security sandboxing.


  • first-run experience / help screen.
  • added about screen.
  • mouse-enabled conversation closing.
  • fix some textbox height jumping upon input.
  • fix a very rare but lethal threadlock issue.


  • some improvements to conversation appearance:
    • add outline to message bubbles.
    • colorize bubbles differently.
    • add a bit of a background to conversations.
    • add an initial title to each conversation.
  • also improve search text appearance by giving it a bit of a shadow.
  • fix some rare but lethal bugs:
    • sidetalk could end up trapping the mouse excessively if a notification is clicked.
    • possible crash when receiving messages (race condition).
    • mousing above the top of the contact list would crash.


  • mouse and scrolling support on conversation scrollbacks.
  • mouse and scrolling support on contact list.
  • more definite selection highlight on contact list.
  • unread message count on contacts.
  • fix a somewhat rare autolayout conflict bug (could occur if an active conversation drifted past the top of the screen).
  • backing out of a conversation is more likely to land you somewhere you want to be.


  • redid text layout system so you can select text to copy/paste across multiple messages.
  • this also enables you to scroll back through messages in a conversation.
  • message bubbles can now be hovered over to find out when the message was sent.
  • typing notifications are now sent to the other party.


  • authentication system completely redone for google oauth.


  • initial alpha release.


Licensed under the WTFPL.

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