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Get Audio, Video Chat in Gmail

How to Use the Gmail Video Chat Plugin


Dad using a laptop computer to communicate with the family
Tang Ming Tung/Moment/Getty Images
While using IM in Gmail is nothing new, users of Google's free email service can also enjoy video chat and free phone calls using a specialized plugin. Where users were once confined to text IMs, Gmail members can now enjoy hearing and seeing their friends in conversation like never before.

Using Gmail video and audio chat options is simple and takes only a few minutes to get started. Follow these three easy steps to start video chatting with friends using your Gmail account:

1. Check Your Computer Meets the Requirements

In order to utilize Gmail's webcam chat and phone call features, ensure your PC or Mac contains the following hardware and software:
  • Windows XP (SP3) or higher, or
  • Intel Mac OS X 10.5 or later, or
  • Linux, and
  • Internet Access
  • A webcam
  • A microphone
  • Gmail Audio/Video Plugin

2. Download the Gmail Video Chat Plugin

Point your web browser to the Gmail Voice and Video Chat plugin website and begin your installation. You will need to close your web browser before you install the plugin.

3. Launch Your Gmail Video or Audio Chat

Sign in to your Gmail account and find the person you want to call or video chat with from your contacts list. Click on the appropriate camera or phone icon to launch your chat. Note: Only users with a video camera icon next to their name are available for webcam chat.
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