Google Talk for Android is to be upgraded over the air with voice and video chat capabilities
Android users will finally get Google’s video chat application, after Google Talk was upgraded with the same voice and video chat capabilities it utilises for the desktop version.
Now when users access their Google Talk friends list, a video or voice chat button will appear next to their contacts. Talk users will touch the button to connect with them. Text chats will be overlaid on the phone’s screen for the users to read without exiting the video.
In one nifty feature, Google Talk video pauses automatically when a user switches to another application. That way, the users can switch to another application on the fly, though the audio will keep going even though the video action has paused.
Over Air Upgrade
Users may make calls over a 3G or 4G data network or over WiFi. However, there is a caveat: Except for the Samsung Nexus S, there’s no telling when users will receive the Talk bump.
“Google Talk with video and voice chat will gradually roll out to Nexus S devices in the next few weeks as part of the Android 2.3.4 over-the-air update and will launch on other Android 2.3+ devices in the future,” Google explained in a blog post, which also offers a screenshot and demo video.
That is, Talk with video chat is coming to smartphones employing the so-called “pure Google experience,” which means they are the first to get OS and application updates without waiting for carriers or manufacturers to vet them.
Google rolls them out over the air, and owners of those phones receive them.
Qik, Skype Competition
Even though Google Talk with video and voice chat will be available on a limited basis – there just aren’t many Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” phones in the US market yet – it’s high time for Google to make video chat native for Google Talk.
Diehard Google application users have grown tired of having to download Qik, Skype or some other video chat application to their smartphones just to enjoy their handsets’ dual cameras.
At a time when Apple has its own signature Facetime video chat application, it’s time for Google to do the same.