As a major component of what appears to be a big push to revamp its messaging offerings, Google has announced Duo, a video calling app. As the name suggests, it is focused solely on two-person video conversations.
Unlike Allo, which Google insists is bringing some fundamentally new features, Duo is all about simplicity.
As far as novel features go, the closest we get is that when you receive a video call, you can see the live video of the caller before you answer.
WhatsApp has been steadily adding more and more features over the past year and that is not slowing down. In the last few months, we've run across dozens of tips of upcoming WhatsApp options, some that are already live, others that are starting to materialize, and several that are still tagged with a big question mark. We're compiling here a few of the latter and most interesting rumors and tips, but do take them with a grain of salt. Some of them might really happen, others could be scrapped off.
There's no limit to what you can build in Minecraft. From a one-to-one scale model of the Starship Enterprise to a working CPU, the block-based video game has seen practically everything. Fans of the game like to spend time on large-scale constructions, and the engineers at Verizon seem to be some of the biggest fans around. Staying true to what the company is known for, they've taken it upon themselves to extend the network's wireless coverage into the virtual world and build a working smartphone in Minecraft. The result is admittedly very cool.
The phone may not have all the conveniences of a modern smartphone: the roughly 2000-inch display has a screen resolution of about 40 by 30 pixels, which gives it a rather lowish pixel density of around 0.0254 ppi.
Get this. Before now, Snapchat wasn't good for actually chatting. I know, for an app with chat in the name, you would understandably expect it to foster some form of conversations (the snappy kind, at least). But until now, users have only been able to take photos or short video clips, doodle on them, add captions, set how long the recipient could view them, and share. The app was less about communicating and more about, well, other stuff. But now the company has added instant messaging to the app, along with live video chatting.
Snapchat's video chats feel more spontaneous than traditional calls.
AT&T has long had a chip on its shoulder when it comes to video chat apps running on its network. It took a few years to enable Apple's solution, but Android users were stymied just last week when the new Hangouts app refused to connect to video calls over AT&T's 3G and 4G. The rationale the carrier is using to justify its decision is incredibly convoluted, to say the least. However, things are going to change in the second half of 2013.
AT&T makes a bizarre distinction between apps that are downloaded, and those that are included on the phone. Hangouts replaces Talk, so even though it's new to Google Play, AT&T considers it a pre-installed app.
ooVoo, the popular mobile video call app, has been updated to v1.3.4, bringing a number of new features and changes for Android users.
The most noticeable addition in the latest version is that users can now hold 4-way video calls right from their phones, taking advantage of fast Wi-fi and LTE connections to display multiple video streams all at once. This gives the service a big advantage against competitors such as Skype, which only allows free users to chat with one person at a time.
Also new in this latest version is the addition of push notifications, which ensures that you can always receive a call, regardless of whether you currently have the app open or not.