Earlier this week, I had to walk away from my computer while I was in the middle of a conversation on Google Talk. I didn’t make it back to my desk for a while, and while I was gone I wanted to use my iPhone to see if the other person had been responding.

I thought came up with a solution later on, but I should start by saying that it doesn’t actually work for some reason.

All Google Talk conversations are available in GMail, and I’ve got GMail setup on my iPhone through IMAP. I figured I could just add a filter to add a My Chats label to all chat records, and see them in that IMAP folder on my iPhone. Here’s what I did:

  1. In the web version of GMail, click on the Create Filter link to the right of the search box at the top of the page.
  2. On the Create A Filter screen, put "Chat with" in the Subject box, and click the Test Search button to make sure it finds your chat logs. If that's OK, click the Next Step button.
  3. On the Choose Action screen, check the box next to "Apply the label:" If you haven't already created a label for chats, select the "New Label..." option and enter a label. It won't let you use Chats, so I called it My Chats.
  4. If you want to apply the label to existing chat logs, in addition to any new ones that come in, check the box next to "Also apply filter to xxx conversations below."
  5. Click the Create Filter button.

If I click on the My Chats label in the web version of GMail, I see hundreds of chat logs. In both my iPhone and Mail.app (also setup to use GMail over IMAP), only eight items appear in that folder. It’s not even the most recent eight - I get eight seemingly random items going back to April. I guess that GMail doesn’t handle chat logs over IMAP very well, but I don’t know why.

It’s not a big deal, I just thought it would be handy. If anyone else has figured this out, leave a comment here with details.