Google Announces Video Chat for Android 2.3 Devices, Says ‘Surprise is Still to Come’

Google is launching an update to Android Gingerbread, version 2.3.4. But the big news? The update brings video chat via GTalk to Android smartphones. This is the same functionality we first saw implemented in Honeycomb, and allows any Android phone with the proper version of Gingerbread to conduct a video chat with anyone using a compatible (Honeycomb) Android tablet, their smartphone, or GTalk on their desktop.

It works effortlessly, displaying an icon next to those on your friends list who are available for video chat. Tap the icon and you are on your way to face-to-face conversation.

The main caveat is that the update is currently only rolling out to the Nexus S. There is no telling when Android 2.3.4 with video chat will reach other devices, many of which have yet to receive any taste of Gingerbread at all. Guess it pays to have Google’s baby in your hands.

Oh, and this sounds like the perfect candidate for that surprise the Google Nexus Twitter teased us about earlier, right? Wrong. According to a new tweet, the surprise is still to come. We continue to wonder what it could be…

[via Google]

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  • syrenz

    Gah – This is the first time I really crave gingerbread…

  • Keller

    YESS

  • syrenz

    Oh nvm – I just remembered I don’t have a front facing camera anyways. Hahahaha.

  • Keller

    • Watson111505

      This was an Awesome Comment,,LOLOLOL Nice video.

  • SoKal26

    Sweet…now if HTC can just build this feature into Sense UI 3.0…….viola, native video chat that I can access on my EVO when I’m about to make a standard phone call. Now that’s gangsta…haha

  • Rhad

    You would think Google would just update the Google Talk App…
    But it wouldn’t cause as much fragmentation.

  • toomuchgame441

    I need some Gingerbread love on my Evo. I hope they get a good working building if GB w/ Sense working soon.

  • Evo 4.5G

    Maybe Google will launch it’s cloud music service?

    Or maybe some details on Ice Cream…

  • Richard Yarrell

    Would be great to see this on the new Htc Evo 3d out the box come June.

    • Jdog25

      Good luck with that sir.

    • Del373

      When the Thunderbolt was in development, there were rumors that it was going to have Skype functionality baked into the Sense system…so to say that the Evo 3D would come with this pre-loaded may not be too far off.

      …but when the TBolt came out they Skype stuff was nixed, so I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I were you. Generally speaking these sorts of treats only come to the true “Google Experience” phones before making their way to third party OEMs n’such.

  • phoenix

    i wish you could vote down comments. i know exactly who would get voted down into oblivion.

  • cdog

    Going forward I will only buy Pure Google Phones such as Nexus S and Nexus one. Just get screwed buying a phone that the carrier eff’s up with their custom crapware and interface. No reason to ever not get the Google Phone

    • https://plus.google.com/102862831744598656090/about Wesley

      That’s been my plan too ever since I got my first Android phone, the Nexus One. I hope we see another Nexus phone by the end of the year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lindsay-Reid/1466799814 Lindsay Reid

    A nice “suprise to come” would be that Google Voice worked outside of the USA.

    otherwise……this is what you get…..

    Google Voice is not available in your country.
    Thanks for visiting Google Voice. We’re not yet open for users outside the US, but are planning to expand our service to additional countries in the future.

    • leaponover

      Second post i’ve seen you complaining about. Everyone outside the US gets the nicest phones first and you are upset you don’t have Google Voice?? Geez, how entitled do you think you folks are?

    • lugnut667

      You could just move to the U.S. like every other intelligent person does.

  • Aaron Sua

    Now this is why I like running Cyanogen and not waiting for others to get around to updating their stuff.

    • fred12345

      Yup, installed Cynogen 7 (Android v2.3.3) the other day and its like getting a whole new phone. Luvin the native SIP stack!

  • Lennatron

    I’m so excited for the surprise.

  • Bela

    If it’s limited to only communicating between Android devices I am not interested. I want a good video chat option between my phone and a computer. The best currently is yahoo… but nobody uses yahoo on their computer, especially outide of the US.

    • Guest

      If you watch the video he says “you can now video chat with millions using gmail on their laptops”

    • leaponover

      Umm, yeah, you don’t even have to watch the video to realize this will work for pcs as well. Did your teacher often tell you to reread things?

  • Richard Yarrell

    Finally something that will knock that dreaded skype out the box that maybe we all can benefit from.

  • Shrimp Boat

    Me: Ring, Ring…yes dear.
    Her: Working late tonight? Hows it going?
    Me: Yeah, getting close to finshing…looking forward to coming home soon.
    Her: …is that a tv I hear? …I just heard a pool cue… where are you?
    Me: No, no…I’m at work…I’m just um, I got the radio on and um,
    Her: Turn on your video chat and let me see where you are.
    Me: [busted...dang Google!]

    • PhishyKris

      Exactly. We should all be careful what we wish for.

    • Carlos

      So when your wife buys you a new phone out of the blue…. you now know why…

    • lugnut667

      Isn’t it more likely that if she’s so paranoid about where you are, that she’s already tracking you via the GPS on your phone? There’s no hiding anymore…

  • https://plus.google.com/102862831744598656090/about Wesley

    This makes me wonder if the N1 will get voice chat through Gtalk.

  • http://twitter.com/orgadget Or Gadget Review

    that’s the wow to use android 2.3

  • MykeSorrel

    Ice cream is shown at 00:41

  • ilh

    Surprise to be Honeycomb 3.1? Courtesy of adobe flash market update description.

  • Isaac Fischer

    Has anyone thought about the implications of this: PSTN call to Google Voice to Google Talk Voice = No carrier required for incoming or outgoing phone calls. Couple that with the SIP trials at sip.voice.google.com or whatever, and the shutdown this month of Gizmo5. I suspect the surprise is a carrier independent, not exactly a phone device like a Nexus Player (think iPod touch). It would have Bluetooth voice calls to ANYWHERE. And it would play into Google Music’s plans like hand-in-glove.

    I think a Nexus Tablet is a longshot since XOOM is still the flagship Honeycomb baby and way too new, unless the Nexus Tablet is a remodel of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (unlikely) or is the long rumored 10″ HTC Flyer (more likely, since Nexus S has sullied the Nexus name).

    If they’ve decided its time for a new Nexus phone model, let’s hope it’s future-proofed on hardware bands (T-Mobile G2X, I’m looking at YOU) and that means eventual LTE support without having to send in your hardware for replacement (XOOM, I’m looking at YOU).

  • ILikeBubbles

    Still wishing for HTC nexus triage!

  • NIck333

    Google is copycat of iphone.

    • EE

      wow

    • lugnut667

      /sarcasm ??

  • http://www.arcanys.com outsourcing company

    I’m loving innovations now a days. This simply makes communication at work easier. Too bad its for USA only, huh.