Google to upgrade video chat in Gmail via Google+ Hangouts (video)

31 Jul 2012

Google is preparing to give Gmail a revamp, well in terms of video chat. The internet giant has announced that video chat in Gmail is being upgraded to Google+ Hangouts.

Fred Brewin, Gmail’s product manager, has written about the move in a blog post.

Gmail video chat first came onto the scene in 2008. Up to now, Gmail users have been using video chat, which was based on peer-to-peer technology, but Brewin said that Hangouts will draw upon Google’s network to deliver “higher reliability and enhanced quality”.

You’ll be able to chat with all the same people you did before and, in fact, with Hangouts you’ll now be able to reach them not only when they are using Gmail but also if they are on Google+ in the browser or on their Android or iOS devices,” he said.

All Gmail users will benefit from this upgrade. However, Brewin said that if the person one happens to be chatting to also use Google+, they will get more from the Hangouts experience.

“You’ll be able to video chat with up to nine people at once, watch YouTube videos together, collaborate on Google documents and share your screen.”

Google said it had started rolling out Hangouts in Gmail yesterday, with the full rollout set to happen gradually over the coming weeks.


Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic