The Google Mobile team announced Google Talk today, a service to let users video chat on Android phones, tablets, or on Gmail.
Google Talk is similar to Apple’s video-chat service, FaceTime. It displays a video chat button next to contacts in your Google Talk friends list. Tapping the button allows you to connect with friends who also have access to the feature.
“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. You can make calls over a 3G or 4G data network (if your carrier supports it) or over Wi-Fi,” according to the release.
Applications like Fring and Tango already existed for video chatting on Android, but Google’s version is built directly into the operating system and is seamlessly compatible with Gmail, smartphones and tablet devices.
The mobile team designed the app to function well on Android devices: text messages overlay the on-screen video and the video can pause without interrupting audio while you surf other apps.
According to the announcement, Google Talk will go live over the next few weeks on the Nexus S. It’s part of the Android 2.3.4 over-the-air update. Other Android 2.3+ devices will get it in the future, though a specific time frame was not provided.