SMS feature for Hangouts to be discounted where available…

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Google Glass Updates are back with Kit Kat for Glass, photo bundles & more…

You’ve been asking us when the next round of updates were coming. Well, they’re coming later this week! We know it’s been a little while, but this is a big one and we think it’s well worth the wait. Here’s what you’ll find in the new release:

Kit Kat for Glass – Our most exciting update is subtle, but big. We’ve been working on a significant upgrade to a new version of the Glass software. It’s not a change you can see, but it brings improved battery life and makes Glass more reliable and easier to update in the future. And now that Glass runs Android Kit Kat, developers can write Glassware using the latest Android SDK goodness, along with new features from our GDK.

Photo bundles – This one has been a long-standing request from our Explorers: now when you scroll through your timeline, your photos, videos and vignettes from each day will be organized in bundles so that you can swipe less and see more.

Photo replies in Hangouts – Photo sharing has been really popular amongst our Explorers, so we’ve added new ways to send photos in Hangout messages. The next time someone asks “what’s up,” tap “Reply” and then take a photo to show them. (If you already took the perfect photo, you can still tap to “Send” it in a Hangout message.)

Sending feedback – We always want to hear feedback from you on ways we can make Glass better so we’re making it even easier. Tap on the device info card in Settings and tell us what’s on your mind. If you need help, you can still send us an email, call us, or post in the Explorers Community.

Voice command sorting – With new features and Glassware, your voice command menu has grown pretty long. When you tap or say “ok glass,” voice commands are now sorted by recency and frequency, making it easier to see the commands you use most often and faster to access them from the touch menu. 

Video calls – We hold ourselves to high standards for the features that we build, and video calls aren’t living up to these standards. Explorers have told us so directly, and fewer than 10% of them use video calls. For this reason, we’ve made the hard decision to remove video calls from Glass until the experience is better. We don’t know when that will be, but in the meantime, keep an eye on MyGlass as more Glassware is built and released – we’re already seeing the developer community work on other video streaming services. We’ve always said that feedback from Explorers shapes Glass, and this is no exception.

…and more – This is a massive update and we couldn’t fit all the changes into this post, so watch the Glass Journal in the Explorers Community to see the rest.

Mood and device statuses for Hangouts now appearing on the desktop.

 

You can now see your friends’ device and mood statuses in Hangouts on the desktop.

The feature, introduced in the latest version of Hangouts for Android and iOS allows you to express your mood in the form of emoji, as well as letting people know what device you’re currently using, such as a laptop, phone or tablet.

The feature remained absent for desktop Hangouts, that is until today. The update should be rolling out to everyone now, but works slightly differently to the mobile apps.

( more on this article from Google Plus Daily here… )

#google+ #google+hangouts #google+ios #google+android

Babel launching as Google Hangouts

tower-of-babel

The rumored unified messaging service from Google is expected to be one of the most exciting releases this year. Google has many forms of communication, but so far we have only been able to use them separately. Babel is meant to merge them together and create a network like no other, and surely you want to learn more. New rumors have emerged and now we even have a name – Google Hangouts.

Seems the Search Giant is taking it’s Google+ Hangout moniker and spreading it across its services. The source is ryan_socio, who has been known to leak accurate Google information in the past. He claims to have used Google Hangouts for a few minutes. This is the reason why he couldn’t tell us too much.

The Google Hangouts Android app is said to be a Holo-themed app with an icon that looks much like the Google+ Messenger one, except it is green. Furthermore, it seems like the app won’t support MMS/SMS; or at least the version he used.

In other news, he also found out a couple details that should be unveiled soon (probably at Google IO). Apparently Google Now is set to get location-based reminders. You can tell it to remind you to buy a certain product when you are at the store, or to call a friend when you get home. The Gmail app is also said to get a nice Holo update, with the ability to swipe left and right to access different sections.

We are pretty sure we will hear more about these updates at Google IO, which is just around the corner. Our team will be in San Francisco covering the event, so be sure that we will be letting you know how everything evolves!

http://gplus.to/tquintana   @tquintana

Google’s Forthcoming Chat Client “Babel” Shows Up All Over The Web In Screenshots, Bug Reports, Forums & More

Babel hangout edited-580-90

Google-Babel

Google Babel, the forthcoming unified messenger service from Google that’s all but confirmed thanks to a number of screenshots, bug reports, developer forum posts and more, is now being said to only include Google Talk, Google Hangouts and Messenger in its initial release. Google Voice integration, apparently, is on the back burner.

This is the latest from Android enthusiast site Droid-Life, which is reporting that Google Voice will eventually come to the platform, but not at launch. The service will include notification syncing across devices and platforms, which is similar to Apple’s iMessage in that it will work on desktop, tablet and phone, the report states citing undisclosed sources.

The site also claims to have gotten its fingers on a Google memo about Babel, which details the feature set, noting that it works on the desktop via a Chrome app, includes Google+ Hangouts, offers cross-platform notifications, includes over 800 emoji+, has the ability to go on or off record like in Google Chat, and will even involve an iOS native application.

more on this article…

http://gplus.to/tquintana   @tquintana

Google Babel News: Google Voice Support “Eventually” Coming, Synced Notifications, “First Class” iOS Experience

babel

Whenever Google Babel does arrive for public consumption, we’re starting to believe it will be everything we have ever asked for in a unified messenger service. We’re talking synced notifications, cross-platform conversation experiences, a new UI, photo sharing, quick access to live video chats, and on-the-record chat history viewing from anywhere. According to sources of ours who have shared new information with us (including a feature list), we’re getting all of this and more.

Google Babel as a product is a collaboration of work by the Google+, Android, Chrome and Apps teams. Through their combined efforts, as was previously reported by us, we’ll see this unified service launch in Gmail and as Android, iOS, and Chrome apps. What’s particularly interesting, is that Google is talking about the iOS app as being the first time they have built a “first class iOS experience” when it comes to a messaging service. I can’t say that I’m familiar with their current iOS offerings, so I’ll leave the iOS experts to weigh in on the quality of Talk (if there even is an app) and G+ Messenger.

We’ve also learned that Google Voice support is “eventually” coming to Babel, however, the service initially only brings together Talk, Hangouts, and Messenger. This was an inclusion we were hoping to see from the beginning, but won’t, from what we understand. No specific details on how Voice will blend into Babel were given, just that it’s coming later on down the road.

Continuing on – there will be notification syncing across devices and platforms. For example, if you have a browser open on a desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone that are all attached to Babel and receive a message, once you check that message on any of the devices, the notification will disappear from the others. As someone who operates a half-dozen devices at any time throughout a day, I can’t tell you how important this feature is. It may be the most important.

We’ll also see a brand new UI that promotes conversations and is applied across all versions of Babel. You’ll be able to send photos, use 800+ emoji (not an exaggeration), look back at any on-the-recrod conversation from any device, group chat, and of course, carry all conversations with you to and from any device.

Here is a feature list according to a Google memo (colorful commentary is theirs, not ours):

  1. Brand new UI. We’ve designed a new UI that’s applied across all clients and promotes conversations.
  2. Stay in sync.  With just one conversation list and experience across mobile and desktop, everything is always in sync. Install the Chrome app, the Android app, and iOS app.
  3. Desktop app.  Stop laying whack a mole across blinking browser tabs. With the new Chrome app your conversations continue outside of the browser.
  4. Keep a group conversation going to coordinate with your team, and start a Hangout with a single tap whenever you need to talk face-to-face.
  5. Be notified…just once.  Get notifications on your two phones, tablet, laptop, and desktop. Open it on one and watch the others disappear. If you’re actively using your computer or phone we’ll even intelligently notify you on just one of those endpoints. Magic!
  6. Message more than just text.  Add a photo to the conversation and/or send some of the 800+ emoji to your coworkers. Kittens and poop are particularly helpful in explaining complex issues.
  7. Get nostalgic.  Scroll back in time and relive any (on-the-record) conversation, on any device.
  8. More ways to talk.  For the first time we are building a first class iOS experience. Try out our very early preview on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

I will say that the screenshots posted yesterday by TechRadar appear to me to be the real deal. From what I have seen, the emoji box does slide up from the bottom, though I’ve also seen the box with a black background. Conversations will look the same – threaded with profile pictures of the participants.

Still no word on a release date.

Could broadcast journalism see a revival in online media?

cronkite

On launch, Google Hangouts represented an evolutionary advancement in the way we do video chat. We’ve long been able to chat with a few friends at once using apps like Skype, but Hangouts brought along features that made the process of starting an informal discussion open to a group of friends so much easier, and included a variety of useful features that facilitated the discussion itself – something that can get messy quickly using Skype video conferencing and other alternatives.

http://gplus.to/tquintana   @tquintana