Gmail brings Voice and Video Chat
The team behind Gmail have done it again. Just a few days ago, they introduced the ability to send emails as text messages on mobile devices. Though the service is still available to select users, it would soon be coming to the general public.
But today’s highlight is the all new Voice and Video chat capabilities that Google added to its popular web mail application. The official Gmail blog announced today that it has added the new features which would be instantly available to everyone. All that you need is a plugin which could be installed from within Gmail.
The Gmail team preferred to have interoperability in their new service, that’s why they developed this technology on popular web protocols like the XMPP and the legacy RTP. The videos are encoded with H.264, which mean some old computers may have problems decoding and running a smooth stream. Nevertheless, if you are on an Intel Pentium 4 or higher, then there is nothing to worry about.
You can view the videos in the small fly-out panel or pop-em out to a large PIP view. You can even blow them up to full screen and have a smooth chatting experience at the same time. The plug-in developers were nice enough to make a tutorial video for us, highlighting some of the features of this new service along with instructions on how to use them. You can find the video on the official Google Channel on YouTube.