Gmail voice and video chat

Gmail video chat

Gmail video chat

Yesterday Google announced the addition of voice and video to Gmail chat.

You download and install a plugin, and then you get extra options in the Gmail chat UI to start a video or voice chat.  It usually seems to work pretty well, though one computer we tried it on ground to a halt.  It has the nice ability to use it one-sided, so someone with a webcam can broadcast to someone without – you don’t need a webcam at both ends.

If someone you want to video chat with hasn’t installed the plugin, when you try to start the chat Gmail will send them a link to the plugin, so you don’t have to explain it to everyone.

The plugin seems to install for all browsers at once, which is nice and painless.

Here’s a video demonstrating the new features:

Once again, Google Talk lags behind Gmail chat, but I’m starting to ask whether Google Talk is really necessary…

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