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. Read More
Google is changing Hangouts to place peer-to-peer calls when possible. A notification containing the news is now appearing for users when they initiate a call with one of their contacts. Read More
T-Mobile has been pushing some new network technologies lately, like the Advanced Messaging platform announced a few months back. Now it's moving on to video calling by adding native support to its network for select devices. It will require a software update to use, but the experience of placing a video call should be somewhat less annoying. Read More
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. Google asserts that streaming HD streams to ten participants using the H.264 codec would have required too much processing power. Read More
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. That's pretty rad in itself.
The updated app's address book will also display which of your contacts have the feature, so you'll know who can video chat at a glance. Read More
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. Read More