Google has begun OTA distribution of Android 2.3.4, and as expected one of the features it enables is video calling in Gtalk. The video functionality - rumored earlier this week - is for Google's Nexus S, and functions not only over WiFi but 3G/4G connections, presuming your carrier allows it.
Qik has updated its video calling app, Qik Video Connect, to support cross-platform calls between iOS and Android devices. The new version - a free download for both platforms, though the premium Qik Video Connect Plus is also available for iOS - allows the front and rear cameras to be used on the iPhone 4, iPod touch 4G, iPad 2 and Android 2.1+ devices for two-way video chat and video mail.
The front-facing camera on Android handsets like the Nexus S and Desire S haven't seen much official use yet; third-party video calling apps like Fring can use them, but video functionality in Google's own Gtalk has so far been limited to Android 3.0 Honeycomb on tablets. That may well change at Google I/O next month, however, with claims that a test build of Android 2.3.4 with video-capable Gtalk has been doing the rounds.
Our pals over at Android Community have spent some hands on time with the new Skype with Video app for Android devices. This is the new version of the Skype app that allows for video calls between users. The crux of the review is that it does what it promises very well.
Video calls were a mainstay of classic sci-fi films, and even today there's something almost magical about seeing your friends and family on the screen of a portable device. Video calling has been around for some time, but it's only really in the past year or so that its got more attention among regular users. That's thanks in no small part to Apple and FaceTime, as found on the iPhone 4, iPad 2 and other gadgets from the company's range. Read on as we give FaceTime the full SlashGear 101 treatment!
RIM are currently working on a new peer-to-peer video conferencing app expected to launch alongside the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, and taking advantage of the slate's front and rear facing cameras. According to RIM VP of enterprise strategy David Heit, talking to CIO, the company opted for home-grown software rather than relying on a third-party app like Skype.
Facebook and Skype have apparently returned to the negotiating table, with the prospect of Facebook users being offered video call functionality. Talks last year between the two companies resulted in the launch of Skype voice calls between Facebook friends, but according to Bloomberg's pair of sources the discussions had also tentatively covered video calls as well.
That failed to appear in the October Skype update, but with Apple's FaceTime system gaining momentum - likely to be aided with the launch of the iPad 2 later this week, which features twin cameras for FaceTime support - it seems Facebook's interest has re-awakened.
As far as we're aware, Cisco's umi 1080 telepresence system hasn't exactly taken the video calling world by storm - the company itself says that, since the set-top camera went on sale in October 2010, "thousands of people" have used it - but perhaps a price cut, a cheaper model and a free computer app will address that. The Cisco umi 720, as the name suggests, will demand less broadband speed for reduced image quality, with a lighter impact on your wallet.
FaceTime for Mac 1.0 has been added to the Mac App Store, the non-beta version of the video chat software allowing OS X users to make video calls with iPhone 4 and iPod touch owners. Priced at $0.99, the app keeps the same straightforward UI as the public beta, with registration via a user's Apple ID and then a simple list of contacts to choose from.
Skype and Qik jointly announced at MWC 2011 that they plan on further integrating their technologies to help improve Qik's video calls on Sprint and T-Mobile devices and develop Skype's video calling solution for the Verizon LTE network. However, during the talk, Skypes's head of consumer product management, Rick Osterloh, hinted at the possibility of bringing Skype's video calling to AT&T devices. "Let's watch out for some announcements there," said Osterloh when asked about pursuing a relationship with AT&T as a video calling partner.