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Google Talk Enables Video Chat On Android Phones 83

Posted by timothy
from the have-your-robots-call-my-robots dept.
MojoKid writes "Google recently launched Google Talk with video and voice chat for Android phones. With the service, users will be able to video or voice chat with their friends and family directly from an Android phone. Calls can be placed over 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi connections. According to Google, the new features will first roll out to the Nexus S phones over the next few weeks as part of the Android 2.3.4 over-the-air update. Google Talk with video and voice chat will launch on other Android 2.3 and higher devices in the future as well. The video demo in the article shows it in action."
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Google Talk Enables Video Chat On Android Phones

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  • What a clever new functionality!
    • by Threni (635302)

      Problem with anything like this is the dual showstopper of limited battery life and "unlimited" network data. Add to that that some networks (in the UK at least) don't allow VOIP (and charge for it outside of your contract)

      • by icebike (68054)

        If your video chat is so long that it threatens either of those limits, simply find some wifi.

        The key thing here is Skype is dead. Too slow to implement, huge memory hog to run.
        Now its all built in, and integrates with the GMAIL via a browser plug in, on tablets via Honeycomb, and now phones.

        If you have friends or family over seas this is a godsend.

        • Don't forget to hold your breath waiting for your phone to get an update to this version of Android...even if it already has a front-facing camera.

        • My copy of Skype for Android works fine. Unfortunately, it has no video support. For voice calls and chat however, it does work well.

  • Wasnt that available in the N900 like a full year ago? And skype too. Too bad the front camera of it is not the greatest, but still, for a year and half device should not be so bad.
    • by symbolset (646467) *
      It's been in the phones the whole time, you just had to use an app. Now it's included in the OS also.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Video chat has long been Android's most requested feature, probably for 2 years now. No idea WTF Google has been waiting for this whole time. It should have been there in 2.1.
      • by Macrat (638047)

        Video chat has long been Android's most requested feature, probably for 2 years now. No idea WTF Google has been waiting for this whole time. It should have been there in 2.1.

        They needed to wait until Apple did it first so they could copy it. ;-)

    • Re:Looks familiar (Score:4, Informative)

      by idealego (32141) on Sunday May 01, 2011 @02:15PM (#35991930)

      ... Too bad the front camera of it is not the greatest, but still, for a year and half device should not be so bad.

      The front-facing cameras on the Google Nexus S, iPhone 4, and N900 are all 640x480.

      • by avel599 (413285)

        There is 640x480 and then there is 640x480.

        Some webcams look great at this resolution for all intents and purposes. Some cheap ones can be totally useless. (The webcam of my Archos 70IT android tablet is the latter).

      • by 4phun (822581)

        Not to forget all the new Mac Book Pros 2011 are equipped with face time out of the box. These are remarkably well made laptops that should again blow away Apples competition in the quality laptop market. I bought one yesterday and I am amazed at how much Apple gives you in a laptop designed to last more than a year or two. the whole Apple mobile ecosystem from iPhones, iPads, to laptops now are face time capable. I wonder if Android will be able to use Face Time or will it be merely limited to Google talk?

    • by Jaffa (7714)

      Not just the N900 either. Both the N800 and N810 both allowed video chat over Google Talk; so we're going back 3 years for a feature that Nokia had on its Maemo devices built-in, out-of-the-box and fully integrated into the OS.

      • Well, sorta. The N810 and N800 will do video chat over Google Talk, but only with another Nokia internet tablet. They have some sort of goofy codec requirements due to their low processor power.
    • I do agree with you.. N900 is also not supporting as well as skypee too i m stuck with it... can any one suggest other apps for N900... Thank you.
  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Sunday May 01, 2011 @02:10PM (#35991892) Journal
    The Auto-Airbrush application will take your image and in real time smooth out blemishes, do your makeup or shave your stubble (depending on the gender setting you choose), and fix your hair (or even apply a toupee or wig if you like.) By guaranteeing that the users of Google Talk for Android will look nice on camera, or at the very least, like actual human beings, Google will get a much needed leg-up on Apple's FaceTime, which is underutilized because no one wants to get cleaned up just to talk on the phone.
  • I bet the carriers are peeing themselves at this point.

    • Why? They'll roll out their new voice and video chat service, available for $20/mo. (Option only available on plans costing $59.99/mo or more. Three-year contract required. Voice chat minutes count against your monthly quota; video chat charged at double rate.)
      • by nurb432 (527695)

        I meant out of being overly excited.. not from fear. They see $$ falling out of sky like rain drops in a storm.

    • Hm. Let's see...video chat, metered service...

      I see a lot of bandwidth caps being hit with resulting overage charges followed by people re-upping for new contracts with higher caps (because you can't change your contract, you have to get a new one).

      Cha-ching!

  • As a Nokia N900 owner, I'm really impressed with the front facing video camera and skype integration. Skype is pre-installed, and Firefox mobile 3 is the default browser too. (Firefox 4 mobile is has officially been released for 1 month now for Maemo & Android and seems nice and faster too). Yesterday I did a 3.5 g skype video call that went really well between Europe and the USA, in the middle of a national holiday in the capital; the folks back home were impressed.

    I digress. I like how the N900 profil

  • not interested (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LodCrappo (705968) on Sunday May 01, 2011 @02:43PM (#35992076) Homepage

    personally, this is not the way I'd like to see things going. i use a smarthphone instead of a regular cell because it lets me communicate with *less* human interaction.

    • by whoop (194)

      So, um, don't...

      Perhaps someday, you'll find that special someone you'd be interesting in interacting with. Or perhaps there are other people that could use this to interact with someone they wish to.

      Features aren't mandatory to use.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      Personally I use my smartphone differently, and this is exactly the way I like to see things going. GIVE THE USERS CHOICE.

      You don't like video chat, don't turn it on, and don't make a video call.

      No one is interested in your whining.

      • by LodCrappo (705968)

        If video calls become ubiquitous, then I essentially will not have a choice. My smartphone is a business tool, and to participate in the business world typically means using the same medium to contact someone else as they use to contact you, or to at least be available via their preferred method. Email and texts were a move away from the engaging, time demanding requirements of the traditional phone call. This is a step backwards, making communication even more tedious than standard voice is. As I stat

        • by thegarbz (1787294)

          If video calls become ubiquitous, ...

          My smartphone is a business tool, and to participate in the business world typically means using the same medium to contact someone else as they use to contact you, or to at least be available via their preferred method. Email and texts were a move away from the engaging, time demanding requirements of the traditional phone call. ...

          This is my point right here. There are business users out there who will prefer email and you can happily sit and exchange stories about those damn hippies and their video calling all you want via SMS. This is ADDING a feature, not REMOVING one.

          Hell send snail mail to each other and lighten the heck up. I'm sure in 10 years time you'll find the txt messaging button right next to the 3D holograph button or the dome of silence button.

  • Apple said they would release FaceTime as a standard that others could implement, does anyone know if there is any non-Apple FaceTime software out there?

    I've used FaceTime between my iPhone and a Mac, and it's quite nice, but it seems like it could be a big boon to someone to start selling FaceTime enabled video chat on the Android market.

    • by t2t10 (1909766)

      There are about a dozen video chat apps out for Android supporting lots of different standards, including the standards that supposedly make up Facetime. Yet, none of them support Apple Facetime. Chances are therefore that either Apple has not released the necessary information or nobody gives a damn about Facetime compatibility. I suspect it's the former. It wouldn't be the first time that Apple said one thing and did something different.

    • by SeaFox (739806)

      Apple said they would release FaceTime as a standard that others could implement, does anyone know if there is any non-Apple FaceTime software out there?

      Apple said they'd release the video/audio codec combination as a standard IIRC, because the image and sound quality was supposedly much superior to what was out there at the time, not that they would allow anyone who wanted to the ability to connect to the FaceTime network.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      I've used FaceTime between my iPhone and a Mac, and it's quite nice, but it seems like it could be a big boon to someone to start selling FaceTime enabled video chat on the Android market.

      Selling?

      I'd damn well expect to get that for free. Hackers would take a for sale client as an affront.

      I also expect Apple to hit back. They don't like Android, Apple will probably use something like a DCMA violation as a cudgel. Remember that Apple have said they'd enable it to be used as a standard, they haven't open sourced or opened the spec on anything. In reality this promise is worth the paper it's written on, Apple don't want Android competing on an equal footing.

      When that happens, watch the

  • by hitmark (640295)

    This is still using H264, as gtalk video used when first introduced? Or does it support webm or similar freely implementable codecs? And if yes to the latter, when can we see it working on Pidgin?

    • by caseih (160668)

      I'm pretty sure pidgin supports google talk video and has for some time.

      • by SeaFox (739806)

        Only on Linux. They don't support it on Windows because the developers aren't personally interested in V/V support and don't really care what their users want (and that's not an exaggeration if you've seen the discussions on it on Pidgin's site).

  • Google Chat allows me to phone landlines. Will this version allow that? If so, that's very very interesting.

  • it's nearly useless.

    One of my few serious complaints about Android is a serious lack of BlueTooth support. Except for normal phone calls and streaming music you can all but forget it. My phone came with Qik, which does streaming video, but speaker phone ONLY, not even TRRS headphones. Well, unless I'm at home in a quiet room it's useless. If I'm at home in a quiet room I'll use Skype to video chat.

    What's that? Skype is available for Android also?

    Guess what? Same boat as Qik! That, and Skype is somewh

    • Your headphones are broken, or your device is. Skype works fine with the TRRS headset that came with my Nexus One, and it works fine with the PSP headset I picked up for $4 before Ultimate Electronics went out of business.

      • by pecosdave (536896) *

        Possibly the headphones, I used my leftover iPhone ones, hadn't actually tried talking on them in a long time.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      it's nearly useless.

      One of my few serious complaints about Android is a serious lack of BlueTooth support. Except for normal phone calls and streaming music you can all but forget it.

      You were saying? [android.com],

      Bluetooth File Transfer, formerly Medival Bluetooth FTP works fine without root on every phone I've had (HTC Dream, Motorola Milestone, HTC Desire Z).

      If you've got root you can do a lot more. I think there may even be BT tethering w/o the requirement for Root access but I've never looked into this in any detail.

      Perhaps you were thinking of an OS which competes with Android and has a lot of restrictions.

      • by pecosdave (536896) *

        No, I'm talking about Android and Bluetooth. Until audio is used beyond just regular phone calls and music streaming I'm keeping my perspective. The general overall speech to text engine? No Bluetooth, any voice application that isn't a normal phone call? No Bluetooth. Android is incredibly limited on it's audio Bluetooth support beyond the basics. My really really crappy Motorola Q cleaned up where Bluetooth was concerned, then promptly locked up, crashed, or overheated and generally all around sucke

        • by mjwx (966435)

          No, I'm talking about Android and Bluetooth. Until audio is used beyond just regular phone calls and music streaming I'm keeping my perspective.

          I've been able to pass any audio via BT on my HTC Desire and Motorola Milestone to a laptop? The inbuilt video player and Rock Player automatically passed through audio to a Windows laptop.

          What are you on about.

          The general overall speech to text engine?

          Has nothing to do with BT?

          it's nice but I generally use the USB cable because it's faster

          BT FTP is for the times where you don't have a cable or are sending to another device. Doesn't happen every day but it does ha

          • by pecosdave (536896) *

            No, I'm talking about Android and Bluetooth. Until audio is used beyond just regular phone calls and music streaming I'm keeping my perspective.

            I've been able to pass any audio via BT on my HTC Desire and Motorola Milestone to a laptop? The inbuilt video player and Rock Player automatically passed through audio to a Windows laptop.

            What are you on about.

            That's nice, I don't have a Windows laptop shoved in my ear when I want to try a really cool video conference. Having one around would sort of defeat the purpose of wanting to do that with my phone. It doesn't stream music to my normal Jawbone Bluetooth headset either, but I'm not complaining about that because that's what my Cy-Fy speaker rig is for. It does an excellent job with that BTW, but I don't want to use that for Qik or Skype either.

            The general overall speech to text engine?

            Has nothing to do with BT?

            No, but it should and does on other phones, especially older p

  • I bought a Sony Ericsson 8 years ago that had video call capabilities. I didn't even try it once, and it never took off anywhere in the world despite a huge number of phones and networks supporting it. Instead, people used the extra bandwidth to check their mail, surf the web and download ringtones and themes. Last year Apple tried with FaceTime (does anybody use that?) and now it's Google's turn. I don't see that it will pick up this time either.

    Kind of funny to see that this feature, which for so long
    • I bought a Sony Ericsson 8 years ago that had video call capabilities. I didn't even try it once, and it never took off anywhere in the world despite a huge number of phones and networks supporting it. Instead, people used the extra bandwidth to check their mail, surf the web and download ringtones and themes. Last year Apple tried with FaceTime (does anybody use that?) and now it's Google's turn. I don't see that it will pick up this time either. Kind of funny to see that this feature, which for so long was believed to be the communication of the future, turned out to be a fiasco when the future finally arrived. Apparently we just don't want to see each other when talking on the phone.

      I think a large part of the lack of popularity is that Apple doesn't allow you to run over 3g. Works a treat on 3g if you've jailbroken your iDevice, but otherwise afaik you cannot. According to this article, the anDROID version will not have that limitation.

    • by crossmr (957846)

      and it never took off anywhere in the world despite a huge number of phones and networks supporting it.

      False. Video calling was and is extremely popular in Japan and Korea where they have the actual infrastructure to support it at a reasonable price.
      When I came to Korea 3 years ago, I didn't go a day without seeing several people using video calling on the train or another place. It's actually gone down now that the iphone has shown up because all the phones don't all work together anymore. Before You could

  • That's great news for anroid users! Instalacje przemysowe [fhukrych.pl]
  • For some "video chat" with the chick pictured in the article.
  • So where are all the Apple haters now? Apple didn't implement 3G video calls and all the Apple haters said Facetime wasn't "standard" so what about Google not implementing standard 3G video calling?

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