The age of VoIP has certainly started to take place. Individuals no longer talk on phones – they talk on computers. Two popular VoIP providers include Skype and Google Talk. While both of these services offer chat capabilities, instant messages and video over the web, it is hard to determine which is better in a side-by-side comparison. Since Google Chat and Skype have a lot of similarities and gross differences, looking at common ground is the only way to accurately compare the two services.
Both services have target markets and oddly enough, they target opposites. While Google Chat targets the average consumer, Skype markets itself to business professionals – especially those who operate within global markets. Therefore, features and connectivity for Skype will focus more on what a business individual needs and less of what the average consumer will need.
Video Chat Capabilities
Skype is an online chat and VoIP video chat system. Skype has the ability to video conference with one or more users and offers high-definition chat. Skype takes “calls” over a phone network, while Google Chat does not.
Skype originally started out as a peer-to-peer VoIP service. Google Chat, on the other hand, started off strong with a combination platter of instant messaging, video and chat. Today, however, more users prefer Skype for video chat than Google. This is because Google Chat requires a video and voice plug-in in order to accept voice and video chats. Skype has this feature automatically installed.
Google Chat is able to integrate directly with Gmail, but this requires the user to be online and logged into their Gmail account to access it. Otherwise, the user will have to download the desktop utility to access their Google Chat.
Skype users are able to integrate their service with Outlook as well as access the video chat on their desktop utility, through their browser or on their smartphone. Though Google Chat does offer a smartphone application, it only works for Android and Blackberry devices – not iPhone.
Both chat services are free, which makes them appealing to business and private users. Only the user can accurately determine which service is better, but when looking for an all-around application that allows them to chat from anywhere, anytime, Skype seems to be the better choice.
[Image via zastavki]