Search engine giant Google Inc. (GOOG:News) Tuesday introduced Gmail voice and video chat, which lets users have free voice and video conversations from within Gmail. Additionally, the company launched a free web service Google Flu Trends, providing up-to-date influenza-related activity estimates for each of the 50 states in the U.S.
In order to make use of the voice and video chat, users need to click on the new “Video & more” menu in a Gmail chat window and select “Start video chat” or “Start voice chat.” Options are available to switch to a full screen view or pop out the chat window and change the size and positioning as required. Voice conversations can be had alongside email and regular chat without a webcam.
Once you install the plugin, to start a video chat, just click on the “Video & more” menu at the bottom of your Gmail chat window, and choose “Start video chat.” You’ll have a few seconds to make sure you look presentable while it’s ringing, and then you’ll see and hear your friend live, right from within Gmail. You can click the “pop-out” icon to make the video larger, or click the fullscreen icon in the upper left-hand corner for a fully immersive experience.