Google voice and video plugin update

Recently, we released the 1.0.13 update for the Google voice and video chat software. All current installations have begun an automatic update and should reach you within the next few days. If you do not have the plugin, you can visit and run the installer.

Here's what's new in version 1.0.13:
  • Improved startup time for both voice and video calls.
  • Detection and recovery for some situations that would cause the plugin to hang indefinitely, which could lead to messaging like "Detecting devices" in the settings page or "Add voice/video chat" in the roster or chat menu.
  • Fixed connectivity problems caused by VMWare virtual network adapters.
You can use your Gmail account to find out what version is currently installed. Simply go to the Gmail Settings page and look under the "Chat" tab. You will see the plugin version under the "Learn more" link, in small type.

If you're on 1.0.13 and still having a problem, please report it on the Gmail voice and video chat forums.

Posted by Tim Haloun
Software Engineer

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Video chat from iGoogle

I use iGoogle to chat with friends while I check the daily news, email co-workers, and even scan through cute kitty pics — you name it, iGoogle has it. Chatting is great for sharing quick thoughts, but sometimes I'd rather just talk to my friends face to face. For instance, last week I got to hold an adorable 3-month-old giant panda. I really wanted to share the excitement of it with my friends, but my fingers just couldn't keep up with the speed and emotion of my thoughts. Now we're making it easier to chat face-to-face, with video chat built right into iGoogle. Just a few clicks and I can see and hear friends and family right from my homepage.

The first time you use video chat in iGoogle, you'll need to download a small plugin. It's free and installs in seconds. To video chat with a friend, click on the "Start video chat" link in the "Actions" menu at the bottom of a chat window. You can see which of your friends are set up for video by the small green camera icon next to their name in their chat list. Once you start chatting, you can pop out the window and make the size bigger or go full-screen.

We have had video chat in Gmail for a little while now, but the nice thing about video chat in iGoogle is that you can video chat with friends who don't have gmail accounts, all you need is a Google account. One less thing to worry about when you want to stay in touch. We'll also be rolling this new feature out over the course of the next few days so if you don't see it on your homepage today, just keeping checking back. As always, we'd love to know how you're enjoying the new feature.

Posted by Robin Schriebman
Software Engineer

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Video chat tips

Hi all, we wanted to share some thoughts, tricks and tips around our Gmail video chat feature. Our first video chat tip is around making the call window bigger on your screen. When a video chat first starts, it is in the small chat window, and you see more of your email inbox than the person you wanted to talk to.

Did you know you could use the "pop-out" arrow on the top of a chat window to make a video chat bigger? This will separate the video chat into its own window that you can resize and move around as you like.

If you want to make the video chat as large as possible and block everything else out, simply use the Full Screen button in the top left corner of the video area. This will fill up your screen and make your conversation much more immersive. Based on the feedback you've given us, we have added the ability to mute your microphone while in full screen mode. To do this, simply hit the space bar!

Feel free to reach us by linking to this blog and by using twitter. We monitor "Gmail video chat", Gmail video chat", "Google video chat", or #googlevideochat in your tweets.

Posted by Fredrik Oja,
Software Engineer

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