Social networks aiming to change the way we communicate are everywhere. Messaging applications that want to do it all are also spreading like wildfire. With Facebook, WhatsApp, and Snapchat taking a big piece of the cake, it's hard for a service to differentiate itself, but Airtime manages to do just that.
The app started 4 years ago as a web service, but faced lots of technical difficulties so its founder Sean Parker shut it down and started working in the background on something better. Now Airtime is launching on both iOS and Android and it's doing a lot of cool things. Read More
Before Skype was known for video, it was known for placing calls. These began as one-on-one exchanges, but eventually the service started letting multiple users converse in groups. Then the service introduced the ability to chat in groups over video, but only on desktop platforms. Now that's changing. Read More
Hey, do you use [insert instant messaging or video chatting service here]? No? Well, what do you use? Weird, no one else I know uses that. Here, just create an account real quick. Please?
Yeah, we're all tired of this conversation. Hangouts has managed to dodge it to some degree because so many people already have the required Google account. But what about those folks who don't? And do you really want to share your email address with this guy who's reaching out to you?
Soon, you won't have to. This week Google is pushing out an update to Hangouts that removes that requirement. Read More
Between the Chrome extension, the Chrome app, Gmail, Inbox, and Google+, there are plenty of ways you can sign in to Hangouts while you're at a computer. But maybe you need one more. Today Google has launched hangouts.google.com. You're welcome.
Hangouts' dedicated website provides a single obvious way to access your contacts list and start chatting, as the URL is one you could probably guess. The site lets you open up multiple conversations at once just as you've been doing in Gmail since the dawn of time. You can also start group conversations, place a voice call, or fire up the webcam. Read More
Here's an idea. Let's take that video chatting thing that people do all the time using Skype, Hangouts, or FaceTime, and remove the sound. Huh, Yahoo is already doing that?
Yup, and the service is called Livetext. Yahoo has been testing it in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Ireland. Now the tech company is bringing its intriguing communications platform to five additional countries. There's Canada and the US in North America. France, Germany, and the rest of the UK have joined Ireland in Europe.
In Yahoo's video of Livetext in action, you can see how each sentence you type appears at the bottom of a video feed of whomever you're chatting with. Read More
Facebook Messenger is adding a feature that, if you didn't use it, you would expect to already have. With today's addition of video chat capability, it has parity with the desktop chat interface that has long supported this. As a server-side switch, you should have this available so long as you are using a reasonably new version of the app.
As you see in the image above, there is a camera icon at the top of the conversation that will initiate the video chat. You might also notice that Facebook is very proud that iOS and Android devices will be able to communicate with one another from the start. Read More
Emoticons are nothing new for Skype or any other instant messaging client. Why, then, are they worth mentioning in version 5.3's changelog? Because now they're big. If you send a message containing only an emoticon, Skype will display a large version, complete with animation. Expressions appended to the end of a sentence, on the other hand, will continue to show up tiny.
While you're checking out these screenshots, also note the app's bubble style chat layout, which has now made its way over from other platforms to Android.
A few other changes have made it into this release. Conversations will no longer jump to the most recent message as it comes in, allowing you to more easily scroll up to read ongoing conversations. Read More
Hangouts video chats are pretty good in terms of handling multiple up and down streams, but the invitation and verification system leaves a lot to be desired - there's something of a traffic jam when we start the Android Police podcast video, for example. Today Google is making that a little easier by allowing mobile users to join a Hangouts video session with a simple invitation link, instead of needing an explicit, personal invitation via the Hangouts/Google+ system.
This has been possible on a standard desktop or Chrome OS device for a few months, but now it's enabled for Android connections as well. Read More
If you're a regular Android Police reader, you probably don't need any "sales assistance" when picking out a new phone, tablet, or laptop - pretty much everything you could want to know is just a web search away. But some people appreciate the personal touch, which is why those guys in the blue shirts at Best Buy still have jobs. To help out these sorts of shoppers, Google is offering live video chat assistance for hardware shoppers on the Play Store.
Image credit: TechCrunch
The new service leverages Google's own Helpouts service (an instruction and assistance portion of video Hangouts) and the infrastructure of the Play Store. Read More