Android Devices Get Video Calling

After Apple debuted its FaceTime video chatting on the iPhone 4, suddenly video chatting is in vogue again, and the folks over at Adobe have demonstrated a video calling system for Android devices that is built using the upcoming Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) 2.5, which is currently in beta….

he application, cheekily named FlashTime, was demonstrated by showing the developer making a video call with himself using two Nexus One devices. While the name might be funny to many folks, it was changed to P2P Video Calls on Android shortly after, possibly to avoid any backlash.

A new Adobe AIR demo is making the rounds today; it shows how Android phones can be used for user-to-user video calls.Built using an upcoming release of AIR 2.5, this app is the Android and Adobe developer communities’ answer to FaceTime. The more generous in spirit would call this move “cheeky.” At any rate, it throws yet another log on the bonfire that is the Adobe-Apple public dialog.

The app was originally called “FlashTime,” but the name was changed to avoid some confusion.Mark Doherty, Adobe’s Flash Platform Evangelist for mobile, said this isn’t an official release from Adobe; rather, it’s something he built over the course of three days to test the features of AIR 2.5 for Android. We’d love to show you his demo video here, but unfortunately, that clip is currently password-protected and not for public consumption.

The new Adobe software is not expected to keep the name FlashTime once its released in to the main stream and a few features shown in this beta version may not make it to the final release. With the release of FLashTime I’m sure Apple are feeling a little uncomfortable seeing Adobe continue to gain strength on a rival mobile platform.

Doherty doesn’t plan to release the app as a product, but he said he will open-source the code. He expects the code to be stable and finished by next week; interested parties should contact Doherty directly.Android and Adobe as entities have been getting awfully chummy with one another ever since Apple declared war on Flash. With jingoistic barbs flying from all sides, it’s hard to have an unbiased, logical conversation uncolored by emotion when it comes to this subject. But without weighing in on one side or the other of the grander to-Flash-or-not-to-Flash debate, we can say that Android device users deserve the same ability to make video calls that iPhone 4 users now have, and we applaud the developers of any application that will help users have this ability.

One of the added bonuses of working on an open platform is that you can create apps like this and use the devices’ hardware in innovative, interesting and even “cheeky” ways without being blacklisted by the OS creator or device manufacturer. We can’t wait to see other Android video-calling apps in action.

What’s your opinion of this demo so far? Do you think more video-calling apps for Android phones will be coming up soon?


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