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
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.
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.