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Google unveils video chat for Android smartphones

The service has been integrated into the Google Talk application, meaning the users can now use the Voice Chat app to make video calls to Google Talk users on PC and Mac.

Google on Thursday announced the debut of its own video and voice chat service for the Android operating system, posing a challenge to the FaceTime application on Apple’s iPhone.

The search engine mammoth said it will start supporting video chat through its Google Talk mobile app, but only on high-end Android handsets.

Google launches own video chat
Unlike Apple software FaceTime, the video chat service of Google uses 3G and 4G networks rather than just WiFi networks (as long as your carrier and data contract supports it).

The service has been integrated into the Google Talk application, meaning the users can now use the Voice Chat app to make video calls to Google Talk users on PC and Mac.

“To help you stay in touch with your friends and family, we’re launching Google Talk with video and voice chat for Android phones,” Google stated in its official blog.

The search engine mammoth said it will start supporting video chat through its Google Talk mobile app, but only on high-end Android handsets.

The video chatting feature also allows people to make calls through Google Talk over Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G data networks to connect with other Android users.

It uses the front-mounted cameras on select Android devices.

According to the Google Mobile Blog, the new feature uses the front-mounted cameras on select Android devices.

Google Talk's video and audio chatting will be rolled out to Google's own Nexus S smartphone (built by Samsung for Google) "in the next few weeks" as part of the Android 2.3.4 update, states the Blog.

"You can now video or voice chat with your friends, family and colleagues right from your Android phone, whether they're on their compatible Android tablet or phone, or using Gmail with Google Talk on their computer," Google's Product Manager Colin Gibbs and Wei Huang, tech lead, write on the official Google Mobile Blog.

How to make call?
To make a call, you just have to go to the Google Talk app and press the video or voice chat icon next to your contact’s name. While making video calls, users can also send text messages.

Users can also continue the call while switching to another application. However, the video will be paused.

The service will also work on Android Honeycomb tablets, such as the Motorola Xoom.

It will come to other Android 2.3 devices in the future, the search giant said.