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.
Source: Gmail Blog
In case you’re not familiar, ooVoo is one of the better video chatting options available. Well the app and service has taken something good and made it awesome. ooVoo has confirmed the ability for users of its service to participate in an unprecedented 12-way video chat. This means if you use ooVoo on your Android, desktop or even through Facebook, you’ll be able to get in on the action. In addition to the expanded number of users who can connect to the video chat, the new update includes the ability to connect to friends whether not they have ooVoo by simply emailing, posting or texting an ooVoo Call Link as well as a brand-spankin’ new user interface which has been improved, yet simplified for all. In addition to the improvements brought by the latest update, ooVoo also announced its continued and successful growth. Here’s CEO Yuval Baharav:
“Today’s product announcement is a major milestone for ooVoo and our users. ooVoo’s community is over 46 million strong and our average user spends significant time engaging in fun and interesting activities including watching TV, playing music and games, doing homework and just being together.”
The newly improved app is now available for all Froyo 2.2+ devices. We know you’re ready to get in on the improved ooVoo action, so hit the break to see the full presser as well as find the Play Store link and QR code.
Skype for Android has just been updated to version 126.96.36.1997, and brings an updated calling interface, performance improvements, bug fixes, and continues to add video calling support for more devices with the addition of support for Sprint’s Samsung Epic 4G Touch.
The market page lists the following:
What’s in this version:
- Improvements and new features:
- Calling interface updated
- Improved quality
- Enabled video calling for Samsung Epic 4G Touch
Here’s what the new calling interface looks like. Minimalist and classy.
Google+ announced today that it has entered its Beta phase and along with it bringing open enrollment and a much appreciated update to its mobile application.
It has been hard for me to be an avid Google+ user because not everybody has been able to create an account due to an invite only status. Now that it is fair game to all, no invite required, the new social networking site should see an increased influx of users. With hopes that more of my friends and contacts sign up for the service, I plan to use the network more frequently. And now that the mobile app has also received some really cool updates, the experience is sure to bring more people together in ways unavailable to them before.
Hangouts were once limited to desktop use and allows video chat between multiple users. With the recent update to the mobile platform, you are free to video chat with your friends while on the go. When you notice a hangout within your stream, just join in and you should be all set for an audio/video experience that expands the way in which we communicate within a social networking group. In order to do so, you must download the latest update and have an Android phone running 2.3 and up. iDevices are not supported so feel free to rub that in to the respective owners although an update for them has been said to follow at a later date.
Join us after the break for more features and a link to download or upgrade the Google+ app.
fring just launched Playgrounds, which is a new social feature within the fring app that enables anyone to participate in group video discussions about various subjects. Each Playground allows for up to four people to have a video discussion with other Android or iPhone/iPad/iPod touch users. Users can either browse a list of open Playgrounds or create their own about any topic that matters to them.
“Playground Video chat empowers users to video & voice their opinions about things that matter to them. We let users do more than simply ‘follow’ their interests. Now they can actively engage with others via video chat, instead of waiting for character-constrained updates,” says Avi Shechter, CEO and Co-founder of fring.
Users are not limited to just public Playgrounds. They can enjoy video chatting with their friends, two-way video, voice calls, and text chat with friends on Android, iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, and Nokia smartphones.
Demo video, full press release, and download links after the break:
Last week we saw a leaked version of a DROID 3 update that was pulled. It was supposed to add video support for GTalk and fix an odd battery issue.
It looks like the update is finally ready because the above email was sent out to Motorola support members announcing that a soak test will begin soon. Assuming the support members are bug free during the soak test, the full roll out will take place later this month.
Verizon and Motorola haven’t made it official yet, but the above image pretty much does. We knew it was going to be September 8th for a while now, but it is nice to finally know for sure.
The below image also confirms Costco will be launching the same day. We already reported that Costco will have an accessory bonus pack which makes me wish there was a one in my area.
Check for more goodies after the break:
The Qik Video app that presents Skype software to help you stay connected through video chat, mail and share options is offering users a $4.99 monthly premium subscription with a new assortment of extra features including:
- Unlimited video storage for as many videos as you want to save, playback, or share later.
- Send/Receive videos in high definition and 3D on select mobile devices.
- Qik Desktop enables video management from your computer by adding video from your gallery and syncing to your desktop. Plus you can automatically sync Qik videos from phone to desktop for editing and sharing.
To start streaming live videos with friends and family around the world, hit the break for the Android Market link or grab the QR code from our popular apps database.
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
Recently Skype for Android added video support, but only for a handful of phones. Shortly after, it was made “unofficially” available for other phones thanks to the great Android developement community, but Skype has “officially” added support for 17 additional devices.
There is one caveat in that you must have Android 2.3x Gingerbread on your device or it will only work with the rear camera since the front camera is not supported with Android 2.1 and 2.2.
Hit the break for the full list of devices: