In the interview from a few a days ago, Andy Rubin was asked about video calling in Android, and what he said was:
“We support video chat today, with Google Talk Video. It works on the desktop. Whether that can be repurposed and made appropriate for sipping bandwidth for mobile, it’s an exercise that’s underway.”
Google bought Gizmo5 about a year ago, and they’ve also bought Global IP Solutions, the company that provides video compression technology for companies like Skype. These 2 acquisitions clearly meant that Android was going to get VOIP and video-calling eventually. But how soon, we didn’t know.
Since Gingerbread should be a major revision, that also includes an UI overhaul, we could expect video-calling to come to it, too, especially now that Apple has it and it seems that people love it.
Why is video-calling getting popular today? Because we’re finally at a point where it can be supported by everyone. Sure, it existed before, but the phones that had it weren’t used by millions of people, and there wasn’t that much compatibility between them. Also, video-calling was very expensive, not only for the users, but also for carriers. And not just expensive, but not very useful either.
What’s the point in seeing a very poor video of a person on the other side? Carriers have HSPA speeds now and they can barely support quality 3G video with it. Luckily, we have Wi-Fi almost everyone now, and it will be much easier to do video-calling through Wi-fi, at least until 4G is truly here.
I expect 2 thing from Google. That they integrate it very well with the phone, even if it works with Google Talk – but I don’t want to open an app to use it. It needs to be as easy to start as FaceTime.
Also, I believe it should be able to call FaceTime phones. However, I don’t think Apple released the code for it. Google should at least make it work with a Google Talk app for iPhones. For this to truly work, Google Talk needs to be everywhere, so people can start using Google Talk instead of anything else. Google Talk should be the only video calling service you need.