Google Brings Video/Voice Chat to Your Home Page

    August 24, 2009
    Chris Crum

Google now has a video chat application that can be used from your iGoogle home page. This is just the latest feature Google has added to its ever-growing list of products/features that make it more like a giant social network.

"We have had video chat in Gmail for a little while now, but the nice thing about video chat in iGoogle is that you can video chat with friends who don’t have gmail accounts, all you need is a Google account," says Google software engineer Robin Schriebman. "One less thing to worry about when you want to stay in touch."

iGoogle Chat

iGoogle users who wish to video chat with friends, need simply: 

– Download the voice and video chat plug-in, quit all open browser windows, and install the plug-in.

– Sign in to chat.

– Select the contact you want to call. If they have a camera icon next to their name, you can make a voice or video call; just click ‘Actions’ and ‘Start video chat.’

If they don’t have a camera icon, it means they don’t have the app installed, but you can send them an invitation to download it. Cameraless friends can still participate in voice chat through the app and have a conversation where only one side is in video.

"Since sometimes reading ‘lol’ doesn’t deliver the same punch as actually hearing your friend laugh at your jokes, you can now use voice and video capabilities in chat," says Google. "You can have an actual conversation with someone (seriously, out loud), or even chat face to face over video."

System requirements for the app are Windows XP or later or Intel Mac OS X 10.4 or later.