Google adds audio, video tools to Gmail
Intros yet another installable app
Google has added new video and audio conversion tools to its free email service – Gmail – in an effort to eat into some of Microsoft and Yahoo!’s market share.
Users with a webcam who want to see and hear the people they’re emailing and chatting with online via Gmail, which is known as Googlemail in the UK, can now do so – well, after installing software on their computers, that is.
Google introduced the tools yesterday. Its video feature is tied directly to Gmail, in other words the software doesn’t cross-pollinate to non-Gmail accounts. It’s compatible with the Windows XP and Vista and Apple Mac’s running OS X 10.4 or later.
It works in modern browsers such as Firefox 2.0+, IE7, Safari 3.0, and of course Google's Chrome.
Yahoo and Microsoft already offer similar features, with one significant difference: Google’s rivals do not provide the apps in their more popular free email services.
According to comScore states, Gmail currently boosts 113 million worldwide users. Hotmail clocks up 283 million and Yahoo! isn’t far behind with 274 million email accounts. ®
Alain is correct: Google needs to add video to the Google Talk client!
...and the Google Talk widget. I work in a U.S. government office, where Gmail's chat feature is disabled. Google Talk can be installed (indirectly; wink, wink!) but it can't support video.
I've read the two white papers from the company that developed the video technology. It's truly amazing stuff, going beyond Apple iChat's H.264 by intelligently dropping down in quality (S/N ratio), frame rate, and image dimensions when bandwidth is scarce, so as to prevent the image from freezing up.
By remaining silent on plans to add video to Google Talk, Google may be signaling an agressive move to "inspire" users of competing email systems into Gmail and, thereby, into the Google ecosystem.
By the way, when you use video in gmail chat, you can't use it to connect to your AIM buddies. Nor can you hold a group video call: It's like Skype: You can have a 3-way call or video, but not both.
What if I type 'Reboot'
Will it reboot my PC? :o
Mines the one with the Nokia N95 8GB with Fring for Skype and MSN Messenger installed...
I'm probably missing the point
Sorry, but what's the point of linking an audio/video app to an email/chat? Let me rephrase that, what's the point of emailing/chatting when you are on an audio/video-link with the same guy?
It's like getting a free Ferrari when you buy a Ford Fiesta.
And anyway what's revolutionary about this? I've been able to do this for years with NetMeeting, Skype etc.