Google adding new tools to Gmail
Google is introducing new tools that will convert its free email service into a video and audio channel for people who want to see and hear each other while they communicate.
Activating the features, introduced on Tuesday, will require a free piece of software as well as a Webcam, which are becoming more commonplace as computer manufacturers embed video equipment into laptops.
Once the additional software is installed, Gmail users will be given the option to see and hear each other without leaving the email application.
The video feature will work only if all the participants have Gmail accounts. It's supposed to be compatible with computers running the Windows operating system or Apple's Mac computers.
Google also modified Google Reader, a popular tool for setting up Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds from favorite websites, to feature automatic translation of content into users' chosen languages.
An RSS feed can be set up using Google Reader, for example, to pull articles from a Turkish blog or website, and the content can be automatically translated into English or any of the other nearly 20 languages available.
Google has been adding more bells and whistles to Gmail as part of its effort to gain ground on the longtime leaders in free email, Yahoo and Microsoft.