Video calling to be key feature in Android upgrade

Video calling is a strange thing. When 3G phones first hit the market, the TV ads focused on the joys of video calls, but by and large, the feature was something of a turn-off all those years ago. Then suddenly Apple gets onto it with FaceTime and it's now 'flavour of the month'. Indeed, soon it will come in a Gingerbread flavour.

By that, we mean is will be part of the next Android upgrade, also known as Gingerbread. That's likely to be Android 3.0, but could be a 2.x variation. Either way, video calling will be a key feature, along with a new interface and gaming optimisation when it lands in early 2011.

According to Android and Me, engineeers are currently working to bring Google Talk Video to Android phones as standard. Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering at Google, admitted as much when he said: '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.'

Manufacturers, including Motorola, are already planning phones with front-facing cameras - and that's unlikely to be worthy of the effort unless Google stepped in and supported them. With Apple's success with video calling, we suspect it's a certainty for that new update. So get practicing that smile, you'll soon be broadcasting to your Android-loving friends.

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