We use Google Talk for internal instant messaging. It’s great, it integrates with gmail, so all your conversations are saved in your email history.
However, the Windows desktop app from Google hasn’t been updated in a long time, and it doesn’t support some of the newer features, like Hangouts.
Because of that, I started using the in-browser chat client. The downside, you need to switch to the tab to see/respond to chats, and if you miss the notification beep, it’s harder to see a flashing tab title (compared to a desktop notification).
Turns out, this is because I use Firefox. Chrome has desktop style notifications build in. I just discovered this yesterday, and figured the same thing on Firefox must be possible. Good news. It is!
How to get gmail chat notifications in Firefox
Install the Tab Notifier extension.
By default, you might get notifications, or you might not. I was getting notifications, but they weren’t showing the chat message, just that someone had chatted to me – kind of annoying.
To resolve that, you need to look into gmail settings. In Settings>General there are 2 settings related to desktop notifications: Chat notifications and Email notifications. Make sure both are turned on (if you want both on).
In one of my Google Apps accounts, there was also a link to ‘Click here to enable desktop notifications’. I’m not sure why one had this, and the other didn’t, but I had to click this to get the chat content to display in the notifications. It brought up a pop-up blocker prompt for which I had to ‘Allow’ gmail to make notification pop-ups.
Bingo – you should now have gmail chat notifications in Firefox.