Easier chat controls

When Google Chat first launched, it only supported text chat. Now, it supports voice, video and group chat. Lately, we've been hard at work making video chat work even better, and the reception has been so good that we're giving voice, video and group chat a new and improved home at the top of the chat window in iGoogle and orkut. While this isn't a major change, we hope it makes using all of our features easier.

If you’ve never used voice or video chat in iGoogle or orkut, it’s easy to get started. You'll just need a webcam and a microphone. If you already have a webcam and a microphone, you’ll just need to download a small plugin for video chat, available for free at www.google.com/chat/video.

With the plugin installed and your camera enabled, your friends will see a small green camera icon like this  next to your name in their chat lists. Then, to start a voice or video chat, simply click either the voice or video icon in the toolbar and talk away to your heart's content - all for free.

If you primarily use chat in Gmail, don't worry, we haven't forgotten you!  It'll be coming soon to Gmail as well.

Posted by Bruce Leban
Software Engineer

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