updated 05:20 pm EDT, Thu April 28, 2011
Android 2.3.4 confirmed with video chat
Google on Thursday helped Android catch up in a key area with confirmation of the rumored Android 2.3.4 update. The update gives Android phones official video chat for the first time and uses the same Google Talk solution as on Android 3.0 tablets. Video chats work over cellular as well as Wi-Fi and let users talk both to tablets as well as to Gmail and other Google Talk-ready pages.
Multitasking will pause video but still keeps the audio side going until you return back to the app, Google said.
Nexus S and Nexus S 4G owners will be the first ones to get native video chat and should get it after 2.3.4 is pushed out over the air. Other Android 2.3 devices will get the update as well in the future, although they may need a front-facing camera and weren't given timetables. Nexus One owners are getting the update too but are limited to bug fixes. Google also teased a "surprise" for Nexus owners beyond this in the near future.
The update comes 10 months after Apple added its own official video chat system when the iPhone 4 launched in June 2010. It's unclear how popular Google's system will be since Android 2.3 devices represent less than 2.5 percent of all Android hardware and doesn't require a front camera. Until now, most Android phones with front cameras and video chat have been using 2.2 with unofficial support and third-party apps such as Qik.