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Google Challenges Apple with Video Chat Service

Apple has been known for its great user experiences.  The Apple iPhone has set the standards in usability amongst cell phone users since its launch a few years back.  The Apple Facetime app has become the de facto video chat app for thousands of users since that time, and until last year, was a heavy differentiator in the mobile market for Apple.  Users on smart phone gadgets that were not running the Apple iOS platform did not get to take advantage of the built in social video chat features that Apple’s Facetime app offered on the iPhone.  As of last year, however, Google finally closed the gap on Apple’s lead in face to face communication options.

apple video chat

Gmail has been one of the leading email providers for several years and have an unprecedented number of Internet users already set up with a Gmail account.  Google has made great strides in unifying its communication platforms together under one umbrella, its email system. Gmail has become the single portal by which all of your Android account and communication services are tied together.  This is a great strategy for Google as it leverages its strengths as a major networking portal hub, an area in which Apple is not nearly as strong.

google video chat

Apple has focused its efforts primarily in the design of its products and its user experiences.  In order to do this, it has focused on the form factor of its individual computing products, from its Macbook air to its iPhone smart phones and more recently its iPad tablet devices.  In order to have full control over the complete experience of its products, Apple has taken a strong hand in both the hardware and software aspects of its computing platforms.  This has led to some ground breaking design innovations, such as the razor thin Macbooks and ergonomically impressive tablet devices.  In choosing to focus on the hardware and software features of individual devices, their networking capabilities on the Internet have not been as impressive as Google’s.

From an application perspective, this has led to the unprecedented stability of its iPhone applications, such as Facetime.  This so called “walled garden” approach to application and device design has created a computing environment that is highly stable, and ergonomically impressive for users, but is not very open to other users who do not use the Apple platform.  This general design principle with Apple can be seen through its Facetime application.  The Facetime app is extremely easy to use, and very pretty, but lacks some features that would make its network communications capabilities much better.

Google has come in and taken advantage of this blind spot of Apple’s with Google Talk.  Google takes the exact opposite of the walled garden approach and opens up its Google Talk application for all versions of Android.  Android is an open source operating system for smart phones and other mobile devices that will allow device manufacturers and cell phone providers to create their own versions of Android to run on their devices.  This allows Android to be extremely widely distributed amongst cell phone providers.  Once you take this wide availability on the mobile platforms together into consideration with their huge Gmail following, Google Talk has the largest user network of any communication portal, including Apple’s Facetime.

In addition to its wide scale availability between PC Gmail users and users of all kinds of Android mobile devices, Google has added another killer feature to its Google Talk application: the availability to connect over 3G and 4G networks.  Right now, Apple Facetime can only work with a Wi-Fi connection.

Author Bio:- This post is written by Jason Phillips, an advertising executive with a well known web designing company. His daughter is studying in a boarding school; he often enjoys free video chat with her.

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