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Google challenges Apple with video chat service

Google has launched its own video chat service for Android smartphones to compete with the Facetime application on the iPhone.

The Nexus S, Android operating system smartphone Photo: AFP/GETTY
And unlike the Apple software, the video chat update to Google Talk works over 3G as well as WiFi networks. It uses the front-mounted cameras on high-end Android handsets.

According to the Google Mobile Blog, the new feature will be rolled out to the firm's own-brand Nexus S smartphone "in the next few weeks" as part of the Android 2.3.4 update.
Other smartphones running Google's mobile OS, such Samsung's Galaxy range, will get the update at an unspecified later date.
The service will go up against Apple's Facetime app, which was launched alongside the iPhone 4 last year, as well as third part apps such as Skype and Fring. Google has the advantage of integrating its video chat software with users' Gmail contacts list,
"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," Google said.

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