May 2, 2011 report
Google adds voice and video to Google Talk on Android smartphones
(PhysOrg.com) -- Users of Google's Android OS on their Nexus S smartphones can now smile a little more as their friends will be able to see it; Google has (finally) added video and voice chat as a part of a native Android app. Third party apps that let users video chat on their Android phones (Fring, Qik, etc.) have been around awhile, as has a native app on the iPhone (FaceTime); with this move, Google is finally catching up with everyone else by adding both video and voice to Google Talk; something users have been able to do on their personal computers for quite some time.
Although, sadly, the new additions will only be available for Nexus S phones (Nexus One phones dont have a front facing camera) it will likely create waves in the smartphone market as it offers yet another way for users to communicate with one another using their data network, rather than the cell channel, which means users can talk with other users without using any of their voice minutes.
Google announced the update on their blog and says that the updates will happen over the air, over the next few weeks (for 2.3.4 phones; other 2.3+ devices will have to wait for a future update). The new feature will work with both Wi-Fi and 3/4G Wireless networks (upping the stakes for Facetime which only works with Wi-Fi). Once updated, users will find a video or voice chat button next to their contacts on their contacts list. To connect, all theyll need to do is click the button.
Once updated, users of Nexus S phones will be able to video and voice chat as well as text with other Nexus S phone users; theyll also be able to do the same with those running Google Talk on their PC or with tablet users running Honeycomb. Text messages will be overlaid on the video screen and video can be paused while other apps are run (the audio keeps going).
Clearly Google, still the new player in town, is serious about its venture into the smartphone market, and will continue to add functionality to Android as it moves from a follower, to a leader in the field.
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