Google‘s experimental SMS feature which was released for Gmail Chat back in 2008 has now been removed. This means that users can no longer send an SMS to their mobile contacts via Gmail Chat. Google said users can switch to Hangouts and choose to receive messages in SMS settings.
However, US and Canada users can send an SMS through Google Voice or switch to Hangouts and “continue receiving SMS messages as follow-me (i.e. if you’re offline and receive a Hangout message, you’ll get an SMS message).” The company said that “by streamlining our services, we’re able to focus on creating the best possible products for our users”.
Ever had a question about a device on Google Play and couldn’t seem to find answers? Then you’ll be happy to know that they’re adding a live chat feature for questions on device purchasing. Before this, the only options to get help were to call support or email them— this new option will most definitely make the process more efficient by eliminating waiting time and allowing you to take care of business without leaving the computer screen.
The chat feature is surprisingly very similar to the layout of Hangouts, which is definitely refreshing and a change in the way of doing things. When your chat is over, the entire conversation will be found in your Gmail inbox— if you don’t want the whole thing recorded in your chat history, however, there is an option to go “off the record.”
Google has been working hard to unify their products. Their latest project, combines its currently fragmented messaging platforms under one powerful and effective service. The new initiative, affectionately called “Babble”, will do just that. Currently, Google is maintaining Google Talk, Hangout, Voice, Messenger, Chat for Drive collaboration, and the pseudo Google Talk for G+. The only two that work even fairly well together are Google Talk for Gmail and G+ and even they can evoke frustration with users from time-to-time.
The Babble cross-platform solution could enable Google to dominate chat services such as iMessage and BlackBerry Messenger. Google is building Babble from the ground up, which may or may not be a blessing depending on how you look at it. On one hand, they will be working from a clean slate and there will be no boundaries as to what they can make the app do. On the other hand, Google will be pushing out another Beta product based on past experiences that may have more bugs than a Louisiana bayou on a hot summer afternoon. We will just have to hope the geeks at Google push out a well polished, well oiled, version of the app on Beta release.
With all the IM apps and the recent addition of Google Huddle, it has become the battle of the messaging apps. Now Facebook is looking to crash the party with Facebook Messenger.
Facebook Messenger will be like Google Huddle in that you can send and receive messages within groups.
- Message friends, groups of friends or anyone in your mobile contacts
- Map your location, find your friends and make plans on the go
- Get mobile notifications so you never miss a message
- Include photos so friends can see what you’re doing
Google has another surprise planned for it’s Nexus crowd, it comes by way of an update for the Nexus S which will be Android 2.3.4. The update not only has several bug fixes and improvements to the Gingerbread OS, but it specifically will now have video and voice chat within the Google Talk application and you’ll be able to make calls over a 3G or 4G data network (if your carrier supports it) or over Wi-Fi.
The update will be rolling out to all Google Nexus S owners over the next few weeks either by 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi over the air, and will make it’s way out to other Gingerbread devices soon thereafter. Pretty cool indeed Google.
Click here to watch a video on the new Google Talk improvements below.
Video chat is all the rage these days, and FuzeBox is upping the ante. Fuze Meeting software brings multi-party HD video conferencing to the Android world. Froyo-powered smartphones and tablets running Honeycomb will be able to download the video confrencing software and use it via 3G or wifi, with full access to 720P HD videos. The interface has been streamlined from the earlier version of their video chat software to allow for a cleaner view, while still allowing the mutli-user view. This software will be made available to enterprise customers, so interested parties should contact them at email@example.com.
[Thanks for the tip, Bob!]
According to rumor, the Yahoo! IM app for Android is getting an update this month that will allow for both voice calla and landscape video calling. While this isn’t the most groundbreaking update, it’s still nice to see Yahoo! continue to support their IM app the way they should. Hoever, don’t get your hopes up too far, as the features will only be working on the HTC Evo 4G and the myTouch 4G. Why not other front-faceing camera holders, like the Nexus S, Galaxy Tab, or Epic 4G? No news as of yet, but we’re hoping to see it soon.
You can check out the app here, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
The question: “What’s the biggest problem with Facebook for Android?” The answer: “Facebook for Android”. Well, fortunately, it looks like Facebook for Android has finally gotten some much needed love, as the latest update to the app now includes two major features: chat and push notifications. These have been features long missing from the Android app, and we’re happy to see them come in.
If you want to check it out, you can head to our app database and give it a once over here, or, if you already have it downloaded, just head to the Android Market and update Facebook.
What do you think of these features finally coming to the Android app? Be sure to let us know in the comments!
If you have a front facing camera on your device, chances are, you’ve asked yourself: “why doesn’t the Skype app have video conferencing?” Well, while this is pure speculation, we have received an email from Skype inviting us to the Skype CES press conference in January, and we’re very excited at the prospect that it might be bringing video chat to mobile devices. Remember, there’s no specific mention of Android or mobile, but maybe we’re just being overly hopeful. Let us know your thoughts in the comments. You can check out the Skype app on our app database here, or the super special unlocked version that lets you use 3G here.