Even if you don't talk on the phone a lot, VoLTE is going to be a thing that you want. Replacing the old 3G standards for voice will mean one less radio always sucking down power in your device when you're in an LTE area. Verizon (as well as other carriers) is already testing VoLTE on some of its devices, and it apparently also intends to build video calling into VoLTE-capable phones as part of its so-called "Advanced Calling 1.0" initiative in the coming weeks.
Some of you may have already noticed that your Hangouts video looked significantly clearer the last time you fired it up. That's because Google has transitioned from the H.264 video codec to VP8, and with it, the company has introduced HD streaming. Google started rolling out the change to users in the last few weeks, but it will still be a while before this rolls out to everyone.
Google introduced VP8 back in 2010 as an open and royalty-free format allowing users to watch video in browsers without the need for any additional plugins.
If you're a user of Vonage's mobile app, it just got a bit more interesting. As of the most recent update, you can now video conference with other Vonage Mobile customers for no additional charge. While that's a nice addition in itself, the coolest part is that you can transition between voice and video calling on-the-fly. Basically, that means you can switch from voice to video – and vice-versa – without ever leaving the call.
Skype, providers of one of the most popular IM and video calling clients available, deployed an update for the service's Android app today, bringing it up to version 126.96.36.1995 and packing a few minor, yet very much needed fixes and enhancements.
Among the changes in 188.8.131.525 are more reliable connection with Bluetooth headsets, support for a wider range of headsets, and several key bug fixes. Here's the full change log:
What's in this version:
• More reliable connection with headsets
• More headsets supported
• No more random signing out
• Fixed green video on HTC devices
• Restored video quality on Nvidia-powered devices
While this is a relatively small update, it brings improvements that should give users a more pleasant experience with the app overall, and will definitely help functionality for those using HTC or NVIDIA-powered devices.
One of Android 2.3.4's main new features, which was officially released to the Nexus S late last week, was video and audio calling in Google Talk. While having this feature on the Nexus S is great for its owners, Android users of other devices were left behind. If there is one thing Android users don't like to do, it's wait, which is why britoso from xda managed to rip out the app from his Nexus S and modify it to be compatible with most devices running Android 2.3.
On Monday we told you that Google may bring video chat to Android 2.3.4, and that we expect an announcement at Google I/O. It looks like we got it half right - Google has officially announced Talk with Video Chat integration in Android 2.3.4, but we didn't have to wait until I/O to find out.
The service looks like it will work almost identical to its desktop counterpart: the status icon displays whether or not the person is available for video chat (or capable of it).
As much as I love Android, I do have friends and family that are dedicated iPhone users. There has always been a barrier between the two platforms, but that is slowly changing with things like cross-platform games and now, thanks to Qik Video Connect, video chat.
Aside from being cross-platform, Qik Video Connect offers several other nice features, like video mail. If you can't connect live with someone and you just have to show them something, then video mail is the only way to go, right?
I can't tell you the amount of times that I've been on a video call with someone and suddenly realized that there needed to be a third, or even fourth, person involved. Fortunately, the folks over at Fring are there to save the day... sort of. You see, they have this great new feature called Group Video Calling, but it's in a limited beta right now.
All cynicism aside, this is a pretty cool feature for those that actually use video calling a lot.
Sure, Qik, Yahoo, and Fring all have Android-based video calling apps (not to mention that Google's probably planning one of its own), but we all know this is an area Skype dominates. A few days ago, the company updated its iPhone app with the feature, though we Android users haven't had access to it... until now.
At their press conference at CES, Verizon announced that the feature will be available to customers on its new LTE network.
I'm no huge fan of UI overlays, but even I have to admit that HTC's Sense is getting better and better. With features like HTCSense.com and even an e-books store, there's no arguing that it's become more than just an Android skin - in Europe, at least.
It looks like the US is finally on the agenda for the new Sense. According to Drew Bamford, HTC's head of User Experience, the company will be rolling out a new version of the UI next year, which, among other things, will bring us Americans the features Desire HD and Desire Z owners have been enjoying for a while now.