Everyone’s getting in on video chat again now that Apple have made it sexy again with the FaceTime functionality on the iPhone 4.
Google have offered video chat as an option on Gmail for ages, but they’ve just redesigned the chat box to shift the video option to the front and announced the change yesterday on their blog ‘Making it Easier to Video Chat’.
“Video chat, voice chat, and group chat have all been available for some time within Gmail, but they’ve been curiously tucked away. Getting them up and running required fidgeting with a little menu at the bottom of each chat window. Starting today, all of these features will be just a single click away.”
While Google didn’t actually say they’re trying to play tag with Apple, coming so soon after the launch of the iPhone 4 and its “killer” video chat funtion, it’s kinda implicit.
Video chat has been around for a long long time, but Apple do have the knack of making old ideas (tablet computers, multitasking) seem really new and exciting.
A little technicality with Gmail video chat is that you need to have installed a plug-in for it to work. Clicking the video chat button takes you straight to the download page.
Soon the old style talking-to-people-without-seeing-their-face will seem really retro.