Grandmother’s Guide to Video Chat

Have you ever found yourself at a distance
from friends or loved ones, wishing you could talk to them, face-to-face, from afar? That’s where Google video chat comes in. Google video chat lets you see people while
you talk to them, using your computer, for free.  I’m going to walk you through 3
steps to get started. But before we do that, let’s review what
you’ll need: 1. a webcam, 2. speakers or earphones, 3. a microphone, and 4. a Gmail
account.  Take a moment to make sure you have all of this. Great.  Let’s get cookin’ First, you’ll need to download a piece of
software so that your computer will know how to videochat.  This is called Voice & Video
Chat Plug-In.  Click here to download it. Once you’ve installed this plugin, it’ll
ask you to restart your browser.  This should only take a minute. After your browser opens up again, go ahead
and log-in to Gmail at   Next, take a look at the Chat section on the
left hand side of your screen.   To add a contact, type in their Gmail address.
 Or if you’ve already added them, click their name to start chatting with them. Finally, click the video icon in the chat
window to start a video chat.  Once they accept, a video will appear above the chat
box.  For a bigger view, you can pop out the window by clicking the arrow in the corner. Well, that’s about it.  Now you know how
to video chat in Gmail!  For a handy printable guide of these instructions, click here. And for more information, visit

55 thoughts on “Grandmother’s Guide to Video Chat

  1. yet again, they ignore their own good google talk windows application, and build it into the gmail web application, just a shame!

  2. WAY too many steps.. Get your grandson to download Skype and setup the PC.. Then you just need to leave the computer on and they can call you, single click to answer.

  3. hmm….4 easy steps?? I heard much more than 4…. click here…check this…download this…restart this.. look here…click there… type here… click here…. look there… maximize here……
    My grandma would be lost one second after the title :))))) I love Gmail and its services but this video is def not Grandmother's guide 🙂

  4. @6b616e yes, but google talk is great, it would be pointless to have a webbrowser open for IM's, thats just not how such applications work (tray icon, popup windows with chats, etc). Its cool that you can _also_ do it thru a website if you are on a public pc thats not your own (or on an OS that is just missing tons of apps)

  5. You should read the last blog post in GMail's Blog. The real grandma really could make a video chat if you teach her.

  6. Lol, my grandma would be freaking out because every time it says "click here" she'd try to find the mouse to drag it only a fraction of a distance there and it would move on.

  7. @Filischi it's called the nexus s… lmao jk, but gtalk is auto enabled and set up in android already so need for a dedicated phone lol. or just buy her a chrome book

  8. @Filischi smartphones have much simpler os layout than a computer, and you cant really mess up too much by clicking the wrong thing, and even if you do, you can always just click home and everything will be back to normal, unlike windows where u have to wait for the program to open then you will have to exit it to go out into the main os. also you can program the phone to only have one app, like skype, gtalk, or yahoo messenger. and all grandma have to do is click on the ONLY icon and she's done

  9. and i think your idea of having a phone just to do that is correct, but you can now program, with a bit of knowledge, a smartphone to do just that, no need to wait for google to make a different android or phone to do it. you dont even have to lock the other apps, there are phones with custom android versions that will let you have basically only one app, and only one homescreen, and really there's nothing much to click when you have something like that, and nothing to mess up on.

  10. This is one of the only uninsulting disparagements of "grandma" that I've come across (check its google blog post). But most everywhere else, it's a different story. E.g., on google+, a circles how-to vid ends with keeping Aunt Ruth from seeing college pics. Fine. But how come not Uncle Hector? HOW COME IT'S ALWAYS THE OLDER WOMEN who need to be sidelined, or gently derided for their lack of online know-how? How come it's always "so easy your grandma could do it," rather than your dumb grandpa?

  11. @LeahNewYorkCity calm down, I don't know anyone who thinks female elderly people are more senile or technology clueless than old men. I think everyone understands it's just a silly stereotype and kind of a joke.

  12. I understand your point of view. What you say is obvious. However, there is such a thing as a non-universally-appreciated silly stereotype. Most people's concept of "everyone" refers to "everyone" they can think of, "everyone" they know of. Oftentimes, many individuals and groups are excluded from that notion. Just look at your own attitude and assumption here. You are actually telling me to calm down. It can fairly be inferred that you consider my comment to lack validity. Sigh.

  13. It's silly, but it's still sexist and ageist. What do the old females think? Nobody likes his/her own group to be put down for reasons that are pretty much beyond their control.

  14. These days, there are seniors video phones designed specifically for the elderly and those with memory loss, dementia or a disability… such as the Konnekt No need to struggle with fiddly apps, charging connectors, misplacing your device, logins, pop-ups, updates, etc etc.

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