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Vtok Launches Google Video Chat App for More Android Phones

Google (s GOOG) made big headlines last week when it finally made its popular video chat service available for Android mobile phones — or at least one Android mobile phone. Official Google Talk functionality was introduced on Android version 2.3.4, launching first on the Google Nexus S handset. Well now there’s a Google video chat option for the rest of the Android ecosystem, as tiny startup SkyMobius has issued the latest version of its Vtok app — making Google Talk available on Android devices version 2.1 or above.

SkyMobius had previously introduced its Vtok Google Talk mobile video chat app for the iPhone (s aapl), and later optimized that app to take advantage of the iPad 2’s larger screen and front-facing video camera. Next up for the company was building an app for Android, but Google beat Vtok to the punch last week.

Google’s own app, however, is limited to the Google Nexus S for now and future Android devices that will use Android version 2.3.4, just a tiny portion of the overall Android user base. Vtok, in comparison, can be installed on all Android devices version 2.1 or above. That opens up the possibility of Google Talk mobile video chat on more than 90 percent of all Android devices, according to the most recent Android market share data.

That said, there are still some issues trying to get all phones with front-facing cameras to work due to Android fragmentation. Right now, it’s verified to work on the HTC Evo 4G, Google Nexus S, Google Nexus One and all devices using Android OS 2.3. But it’s still working out the kinks on others. In an email, SkyMobius founder Manpreet Singh discussed some of the issues the startup faced in rolling out the Android app. Singh wrote:

“Android had no API for accessing the front facing camera until the 2.3 version. So, although front facing cameras should work for all devices running Android 2.3 or later, front facing camera support among devices running OS 2.1 or 2.2 is limited. Those devices have been listed in the Android market page of Vtok and will be kept updated.”

As a result, SkyMobius considers the Vtok Android app to be in beta while it works out some of the kinks. That said, it still might have a bit of an advantage over other mobile video chat apps. Skype has desktop video chat capability, but has yet to make video chat available on Android. And startups like Tango and Fring, while they have cross-platform video chat apps, don’t have the kind of install base Vtok can leverage by hooking into Google Talk.

9 Responses to “Vtok Launches Google Video Chat App for More Android Phones”

    • I tried this with my Samsung Galaxy S- Not so impressed. When I connect with headphone, still the sound comes out of phone.
      Front camara not working.
      Still these issues improvies not recomend to use it.

  1. Delgore

    Just tried it and it does not work on the HTC Evo 4G. While it will install and it will see your online contacts it will not complete a call. You hear it dialing and waiting but the other end is never contacted.

    For those that don’t trust 3rd party apps using their gmail or any other email there is a way around that. Create an email strictly for app connection. I have about 10 gmail accounts not counting my providers email accounts. There are advantages to using more than one account.

  2. james

    VTOK is very late to the game. Jujuby had mobile video chat across all major messaging systems like Yahoo, Google, AOL, ICQ, MSN, etc six months ago. Furthermore, Jujuby app works on any mobile devices (any smartphone or any tablet) and on any network (wi-fi, 3g, 4g)

    check em out:

  3. For some reason it doesn’t work on a HTC Desire S with Gingerbread, while it works just fine on a HTC Incredible S with Froyo. Market says app is not found.

  4. Guest

    Yes, It works well on my ZTE Blade which does not have a front-mounted camera – only the main, front-facing camera. Yes folks, the main camera is the one mounted on the back of your phone, but it faces the FRONT just like a real camera – it has to of course otherwise you would always be taking pictures over your shoulder, instead of your friends! Obvious really, but nearly everybody gets it wrong !

  5. I will NEVER trust a 3rd party application with my gmail account login. This is nuts. And I advice ALL to never do that with any application. The first time you regret it – may be one time too many.