To use an Android Phone you need a Google Account. To use GTalk you need a Google Account. Chances are, you do both with the same account. So when you’re using your Android Phone and logged into GTalk… Google knows it. Only now they’re telling everyone about it:
Turn on Green Robot, a new experiment in Gmail Labs, and you’ll see a robot icon next to people who are currently using Android phones. In the case below, Shirley is online with Android, Nicolle R. is using regular Gmail chat, and Chris I. is currently away but also on Android. Slatka is not an angry robot — she’s online with Android but currently busy.
But what if Slatka is online with Android, busy and ALSO an angry robot? Check mate!
In any case, MG Siegler at TechCrunch brings up the point that – while harmless in this scenario – it provides a glimpse into the beginning of our new age of privacy, or lack thereof. So what side of the fence are you on? Fun little feature or an invasion of your privacy? Either way… it’s in Google Labs and they’re requesting your feedback so hey – your opinion might count for once! Only not.
[Via Official Gmail Blog]