Google has announced that the Android version of Google Talk now supports video and voice chat, at least the one running on the very latest Android 2.3.4, which is now rolling out for Google Nexus S devices.Currently, Google Talk on Android enables you to chat with your contacts but not much else. The video and voice chat support brings it on par with Apple's Face Time and is superior in some ways, for example since it works on 3G and 4G data connections, not only over WiFi.
"To help you stay in touch with your friends and family, we’re launching Google Talk with video and voice chat for Android phones," Colin Gibbs, Product Manager and Wei Huang, Tech Lead at Google, announced.
"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," they explained.
Google's Android mobile operating system has been playing catch-up to Apple's iPhone iOS from the get go. It is closing the gap and Android fans will tell you there's plenty about their phones that's better than the iPhone, but there's still room for improvement.
With support for video and voice chat in Google Talk, Android has an answer to Face Time and a solid one at that. Along with the fact that it works over data connections as well, carrier permitting, it also enables you to chat with you friends using Gmail or the desktop app. Unfortunately, the regular Android caveats apply to this feature as well.
The advanced version of Google Talk is only available with Android 2.3.4, the very latest update. However, Android 2.3.4 has only now started to be rolled out and only for Google's own Nexus S devices.
An over-the-air update should be greeting Nexus S users over the next couple of weeks. Everyone else though will have to wait until phone makers and carriers decide to roll out the update to their customers. Considering that most haven't even updated to Android 2.3 yet, it's probably going to be a while. Note that Android 3.0 Honeycomb has had Google Talk with voice and video chat since the get go.