Google: Native Video Chat Coming to Android

Thursday Google tech lead Wei Huang and product manager Colin Gibbs said that video and voice chat will be a native part of Android as of v2.3.4. The new feature will first appear in an over-the-air update rolled out to Nexus S devices during the next few weeks, and then will be added to other Android 2.3+ devices in the future. Sorry Froyo, you're just not so cool anymore.

"You can now video or voice chat with your friends, family and colleagues right from your Android phone, whether they’re on their compatible Android tablet or phone, or using Gmail with Google Talk on their computer," they said in an official blog. "You can make calls over a 3G or 4G data network (if your carrier supports it) or over Wi-Fi."

According to the blog, a video or voice chat button will appear next to contact names in the Google Talk friends list, allowing the user to simply touch a virtual button and quickly connect with their friends and family.

"Any text chats from the person you’re talking with will be overlaid on your phone’s screen so you can read them without having to leave the video," they said. "And, if you need to check something else, the video pauses automatically so you can go back to your phone’s home screen or another app. The audio will keep going even though the video has paused."

To see the new video chat service in action, Colin Gibbs offers a quick 50-second video demonstration, as seen below.

Google Talk with video and voice chat for Android

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  • This is a gimmick. The great irony of the Sci-Fi to Real-Tech myth is that nobody actually WANTS to be viewed while they are on the phone...
  • Google sure is doing something about fragmentation. More content that people that don't have the most recent device won't be able to enjoy until XDA makes a glitchy backdoor method.
  • Since when did the phone actually stop being useful?

    Technology progress is great. Even in the small gains in processor efficiancy or IPC, to quad core mobile phone cpu's. As @jacobdrj summerized quite nicely, some things in Science fiction are just not ment for true consumption. Our board of directors and VP's all think they MUST have video conferences for every meeting now. The phone is not dead. Long live the phone.

    There are a few scenarios where this would be actually utilized. The first and formost, will be for tweens and their significant other to tweeny chat, and most likely, 'sexting' live. My wife and I, even when on business trips, would not use this. If we are going to go this extreme to talk to each other, I'll use our high quality web cam to chat.

    The second, would be legitmate business conferences, though I'm sure this would be very under utilized. In my enterprise, there are many security concerns with over just what traffic and clients can connect to our internal network, and there would be no way I would allow an silly unsecure phone application to connect to our video conference, as god only knows what other malware apps are on it. While neat, it would have to offer business security, and even then, the support nightmare in troubleshooting when our execs screw around with the damn things....

    Sr. Sys Eng.