Google Babble Chat Client to Unify Now Fragmented Messaging Platforms

babble_geekdotcom

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. 
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“Guru” Gives All Google Talk Users Google Now Features, Regardless Of Mobile OS

 

If you happen to be on a Jelly Bean-enabled device like me, then you’re always itching to try new and cutting-edge stuff that Google brings to the table like Google Now. Unfortunately, most devices aren’t going to see Jelly Bean and especially Google Now– but Google has indirectly given all Android users (or Google Talk users for that matter) the ability to use a Google Now-like feature called Guru. It works in a simple way too: you add guru@googlelabs.com and Guru is added to your friends’ list. Once he’s a friend, you’re able to issue commands such as the following below:

 

  • Score *team*: Let’s you search the score of the specified team
  • Weather *city*: Tells you the current weather on defined location
  • Define *word*: Dictionary
  • Translate *word*: Translator

 

While Guru won’t speak to you, at least all Google Talk and Android users will be able to enjoy Google Now finally— if at least at a basic level.

source: Droid Dog

 

 

 

 

 

Google Talk to step aside for Hangouts in Gmail

Ten heads are better than one, or so our friends at Google think as they have today unveiled that Google+ Hangouts will be replacing Google Talk as the embedded video chat service within Gmail. From today the service will be available for all users with a personal Google account, you’ll need to sign up for Google+ to enable the video conferencing feature.

Google Talk has long been Google’s messaging service since it launched on desktops back in summer 2005. It was also a mainstay of Android right from the very beginning, included as a core application in version 1.0 back in 2008. Google later added video calling to the application via the Android Gingerbread 2.3.4 update for the Samsung Nexus S.

Cue the launch of Google+ back in summer 2011. Google+ has had mixed success to date, although still very much a work in progress. All pros and cons considered, it’s fair to say that Hangouts has been one of the stand-out features of the service. As soon as Google+ was launched many Android users questioned the need for both Hangouts and Google Talk. Could this latest move be a nail in the coffin for Google Talk? Check out the video below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

 

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Source: Gmail Blog

Google Talk Issues Affecting Everyone, A Fix is on the Way

You may have been experiencing issues with Google Talk this morning and that’s because Google had a “service outage.” Google explained this morning that they knew about the issue and were working as hard as they could to provide a fix:

“We’re aware of a problem with Google Talk affecting a majority of users. The affected users are able to access Google Talk, but are seeing error messages and/or other unexpected behavior. We will provide an update by 7/26/12 7:50 AM detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change.”


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Google looking to bolster Google+ with Meebo acquisition

Online instant messenger supremo Meebo has announced that is has agreed terms with Google on a prospective buy-out. Early details are limited at this time although a figure of $100m has been circulating the web. Meebo posted the following message was posted on the company website:

We are happy to announce that Meebo has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Google!

For more than seven years we’ve been helping publishers find deeper relationships with their users and to make their sites more social and engaging. Together with Google, we’re super jazzed to roll up our sleeves and get cracking on even bigger and better ways to help users and website owners alike.

We’ve had a blast building Meebo so far and we’re really excited to start the next leg of our journey.

Thank you all for coming along for the ride!

Meebo Team

Just in case you were in any doubt as to what Google has planned for the service, a spokesperson for Google released the following statement on the acquisition:

We are always looking for better ways to help users share content and connect with others across the web, just as they do in real life. With the Meebo team’s expertise in social publisher tools, we believe they will be a great fit with the Google+ team. We look forward to closing the transaction and working with the Meebo team to create more ways for users to engage online.

Google already has Google+ Messenger and Google Talk baked into Android each offering similar functionality. Will the purchase of Meebo finally see Google pick a direction with it’s social media and instant messaging solution? Will Meebo’s famous ‘Meebo Bar’ make an appearance in Android? Keep tuned in to Talk Android as this is definitely one to keep track on.

Source: The Verge

Motorola Photon 4G gets Google Talk with Video and Lapdock 100 Support

Hey Photon owners, if you haven’t recived it yet, be on the lookout for a hefty OTA maintenance upgrade. Besides a slew of general fixes and enhancements, you’re also getting Google Talk with video,  compatibility support for the Lapdock 100, a fix for your proximity sensor and more. The build is 45.3.6.en.US. Sprint is likely staggering the update but it should turn up in your available updates soon.

[via Phandroid]

Samsung ChatON – Free texting for Android, iOS, and Blackberry.

Samsung is joining the mobile messaging game with ChatON, a service to compete with the likes of Blackberry messenger, iMessage, and Google Talk. Now, there are already a few known apps available for this type of thing like WhatsApp and Kik, but Sammy has a pretty solid offering and they’ve done the extra work required to make this work across multiple operating systems, 120 countries, and 62 languages. It will even have a variant for feature phones. To top it off, Samsung says a planned web-based version will bring similar functionality to PCs.

Hit the break for a video demonstration!
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Microsoft Lync Coming To Android

Coming to us from TechED in New Zealand, Microsoft is showing off a Lync client for mobile. If you are unfamiliar, Lync is a powerful unified communications system utilized by many businesses. It’s somewhat like an overpowered Windows Live Messenger, but again, intended for business.  The surprising news here is that Microsoft is making their client available to more than just Windows Phone 7. Android, iOS, & Symbian will be able to utilize it. Obviously, Microsoft is making a play for the enterprise and by making it available on the major mobile OS’s, they are trying to fend off potential threats from services like Google voice, Google Talk, & iMessage.

Video of Lync after the break


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Google brings video stabilization to Google Talk so you can walk and talk worry-free

For now Google Talk video chat is only available on Honeycomb 3.0+ devices and Android Gingerbread 2.3.4. As video chatting continues to grow it is expected that people will want to “walk and talk” and nobody wants to watch a shaky video image.

SRI International’s 2D video stabilization software looks to eliminate this and it is now embedded in Google Talk applications on Android 3.0+ devices.

Google has selected SRI technology for stabilizing video chats and conferences on Google Talk, making video conversations with a stable picture an anytime, anywhere experience for tablet users,” said Norman Winarsky, Ph.D., vice president, SRI Ventures. “As leaders in vision and video research, we continue to enhance consumers’ positive user experience. This mobile device innovation is a reflection of SRI’s strategic research and development, focused on meeting important market needs.”

When video is captured with the front-facing camera it is compressed before it is transmitted. When video with a lot of motion is compressed, the bandwidth used to encode the video increases. SRI’s software compensates for scene motion and allows the video compression to improve image quality by using less bandwidth. Basically, the video is stabilized before compression which means the device does not need to work as hard during the video compression engine. This will most likely give us one more benefit; battery life. Sounds like a win win.


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Motorola Atrix Gingerbread update could be 2.3.4?

There has been a few stories surrounding the Motorola Atrix Gingerbread update. First, a leaked version surfaced, then we found out that it will come with an unlockable bootloader. Now more images have leaked that suggest it will be version 2.3.4 which supports Google Talk Video Chat.

This is something I mentioned in my first article because it does not make sense to install Gingerbread 2.3.3 on a phone with a front facing camera. For now this is completely a rumor as we do not know for sure if the images are indeed legit. The image does show version 2.3.4 and there are more images below that show Google Talk’s video chat availability. You will also notice the status bar is blue which is also different.

The bottom line is that if these images are legit, it still doesn’t mean that the final update will actually be 2.3.4. I could still end up 2.3.3 with a another update a few months later.

Hit the break for more pictures


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