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August 8, 2011

Geek Week: Google Talk Vs. Skype - Which Works Best?

I'm in California for about 2 weeks now and what's quite hard is being thousands of miles away from your family. What's even hardest is when you're not used to being away for a very long period of time. The agony of missing your loved ones especially your little ones proves to be the most difficult. But, thanks to technology, there are now savvy ways of bridging this overwhelming gap in somehow helping ease the nasty effect of homesickness. Enter Google Talk and Skype. The only question is which works best?

Skype 
Undoubtedly, Skype dominates the chat world and was my first choice of video communication for the first week I arrived here. My family enjoyed it's features like the wide variety of emoticons, the ability to take snapshots and send it to each other. Recently, the ability of video calling via my android phone. Seamless at it's best. All you need is a wifi connection and you're set for life! 
A pixelated snapshot taken of me being silly by my daughter while chatting via Skype

My Skypeeve:
The video quality is annoyingly so pixelated in spite of a fast internet connection speed on both sides (application monitors your internet speed). Audio is great but when you're far away, visual is a critical factor when video chatting. A clear, crisp image that is so vivid, is a great feature for a high-quality video chat program. What use a video chat is,  if you can hardly make up the face of the person on the other end of the chat? Totally defeats the purpose of video chatting.

Google Talk:
Out of desperation, I succumb to Google Talk as an alternative replacement for Skype in the quest for finding a better video quality. Google Talk stepped up to the challenge. The video quality is better, not great, but better. There was minimum pixelation and made video chatting a lot pleasant. It is not fully-equipped with great features but having a better video quality made up for all it's inadequacies. Best describes it is: simple but works!

My Google Talkeeve:
Pixelation doesn't occur when the chat window is minimized. Once maximized, the annoying pixelation distinctively appears, though, it isn't as bad as how Skype does. The full-screen option makes this pixelation worst too. Could be, that having a 17 inch wide screen is a factor. Though, same issue is apparent in a netbook.

Recommendations:
Google Talk is the clear winner in my book here BUT...
  • If your requirement is a great video quality, Google Talk should be your top pick (like mine).
  • If you're looking for a video chat program with lots of frills, get on with Skype.
  • If both these programs don't fit your requirements, try Facebook chat. (Though not my personal favorite).
  • Either way, the best feature for both programs are that, they are FREE! 
For more useful Geek topics, don't forget to check my Gizmo Talk and Geek Week articles.

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4 comments:

  1. I've never tried the video on either Skype or Google Talk, but now I have to give it go. Love how silly you are for your daughter, even though you're going through such a tough time right now.

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  2. Have you tried the hangouts on google? I did that with my son while I was away recently and he loved that it cut away when I spoke and that he could see himself when he spoke. Of course he IS 2 and that meant that once he figured this out he did dominate the "conversation" with twinkle twinkle little star... but we like it over skype

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  3. I've been using Skype for quite some time now. They have created and rolled out several updates on their software. I can say that I'm having a great VOIP experience with Skype. I think I should also try Google Talk now.

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  4. I like Gtalk, one more thing is that only around 1.5 MB and give better voice quality on slower connections. Nice review :)

    ReplyDelete

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