Google Helpouts, “a new way to connect people who need help with people who can give help, over live video, anytime, anywhere“, could be coming to fruition on Tues, Nov 5th thanks to a source over at Android Police. Initially announced back in August, the service appears to be very useful, once kicked off that is. The rollout will allow you to connect with people over Hangouts where you can consult an expert or gain assistance with something over a video conference for a small fee or even free of charge. The popular search giant has been preparing the rollout for a couple of months now and it seems to be nearly ready.
If the source is accurate, we could see the official rollout in about a week. Per the post, that user received the tidbit via private notification as they were a preapproved user by Google to get the initial configs underway in time for the rollout. As for those who weren’t preapproved? We’ll just have to exercise patience as always in this industry. However, the sign up page is still live so if you want to give it a try you’re more than welcome. Don’t forget to keep it here for the initial announcement as we’ll be all over it like white on rice when it’s announced.
source: Android Police
Google Helpouts signup page
Ever since Google Hangouts came out a few months ago for Android, one of the primary complaints was the lack of proper status indicators, like Google Talk had. Today’s update to 1.2 adds that, with green chat bubbles indicating online and grey ones indicating offline. In addition, the update adds new categories to sort your contacts in - “People you Hangout with,” “Suggested People,” and “Other Contacts.”
Also, you can now long press on your contacts to hide them from appearing, pinch and zoom on pictures you receive. The update is rolling out as we post, so go to the download link past the break and see if its your turn.
Ever since Google Hangouts was released in May, AT&T users have only been able to make video calls through a Wi-Fi connection. The new update to Hangouts makes calls over AT&T’s mobile data possible, a much needed and requested feature. In addition, the update adds bug fixes, including fixing a problem in which messages got stuck while sending and retrying.
You can download the update from the Play Store link after the break.
The Android-powered Pebble smartwatch has been rising in popularity since it’s initial launch. Support has also been improving, and today Google Hangouts service support has been added. Google Talk notifications were already possible, but today’s update, downloadable from the Play Store, adds native Hangouts support, with notification capabilities for the chat service and video Hangout requests.
Various stability improvements and developer enhancements are also part of version 1.8.2. You can download the Pebble app update through the link after the break.
Since Google Hangouts was released last week, users haven’t been too happy with the lack of SMS and Google Voice integration. Google has already told us that SMS messaging will be included in the near future, and today a Google member is assuring us that Voice will also be a part of future versions. Nikhyl Singhal, product manager for real time communications at Google, went so far to say on his Google+ profile that Hangouts is “designed to be the future of Google Voice” and that future versions of Hangouts will integrate Google Voice more seamlessly.
In addition, the recent Gmail update that added Hangouts disabled Google Voice outbound calling. On his Google+ account, Singhal added that “outbound/inbound calls will soon be available.” It’s great to see that Google will continue working to add and restore features to their new client that users want, but with Google, it’s hard to expect anything less.
Source: +Nikhyl Singhal
Google Hangouts has a lot of cool features, including over 800 emoji characters to use. Apparently there are also six hidden “easter eggs,” including ponies, dinosaurs, and the ability to change the background of the chat window. Google employee Moritz Toxdorff posted the above image on his Google+ account, which explains how to use them. All you need to do to experience the magic is type in your desired code into the chat window, and press enter. Right now, these easter eggs only work on the Google+ client of Hangouts, but the Chrome and mobile clients should surely get them soon.
Very early reviews of Google Hangouts seem to be mixed. Many people love the new service, but many are also unhappy with the fact that SMS messaging is not integrated. These users have quickly dominated the app’s reviews in the Play Store, pleading for the feature to be added to what is supposed to be a unified messaging system.
However, a quick look at the permissions Google Hangouts requires reveals that SMS support could be coming soon. Among the permissions the app has access to - receiving text messages (SMS), reading text messages (SMS or MMS), and sending SMS messages – none of which the app currently seems to actually be using. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this means SMS support will be added sooner than later (maybe with Android 4.3?), making it even more of a truly unified messaging system. After the break you can read the message permissions Google Hangouts requires.
If you’re constantly heading over to the homes of friends and family to supply some tech support, Google+ now provides a much more simple solution, via Hangouts Remote Desktop. Powered by the same technology behind Chrome Remote Desktop, this new feature will provide a much more efficient way of getting things done.
Of course this application requires permission, so you don’t have to worry about hackers being able to swiftly commandeer your desktop without your approval.
Instructions to use the application are after the break.
Google has been relentless with its updates lately, and today we see yet another important release from big-G; this time to its Google+ application. Early this morning Google released Google+ v.3.3 for Android and it includes some pretty big feature additions. First of all, Google has made the general user experience better by giving you the ability to easily edit your profile details, quickly author new content, receive more “subtle” notifications, and giving you access to Google’s newly released “Google+ Communities”. On the photo/video side of things, you’ll be able to upload full sized photos via Instant Upload (up to 5GB of free storage) on top of the unlimited storage that you already get for standard-sized photos (2048px). Android 4.2 users will now be able to post Photo-Spheres to their feed, and anyone running Android 2.2 and up will be able to view them. For video chatting capabilities, Google has made it possible for people to join a Hangout even if they have extremely low bandwidth (down to 150KB), though this feature seems to be enabled only on the web version of Google+. Also available on the web version, Google has made some improvements to the Hangout user interface, including hiding the “filmstrip” of faces if you’re the only participant in an “On Air Hangout”.
Google announced a new purpose for Google+ Hangouts today – fantasy football! Nikhyl Singhal, Google+ Product Director, made the announcement on the Google Official Blog. It appears Google has managed to strike a deal with the NFL as a primary feature is the inclusion of one-click access to Google+ Hangouts from any NFL.com/fantasyfootball web page. The announcement indicates this includes both the Draft and Game Centers. Clicking on the provided button will launch a hangout with your fellow league members.