Google's communication platform continues integration
Google has updated the iOS version of its Google Hangouts app to include integration with its the search giant's Google Voice Internet telephone service. The new version allows users to call numbers from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch for free if the number is within the United States or Canada. Google has added this capability to the iOS version of Hangouts before the feature has even made it into the Android version.
Cross-platform system to consolidate existing IM systems
Google is looking towards unifying its messaging platforms into one single service, according to rumors. Called Babble, the new service would provide cross-platform communications between the various Google services, such as Google Talk, Google Hangouts, and Google Voice, replacing them all with a single common method.
US, Canada Gmail users still get free domestic calls
Gmail users who rely on the email service to place telephone calls caught a break this holiday season, as Google announced that it would be extending the free telephone call feature in Gmail through next year. The extension is applicable for users in the United States and Canada, and it applies to domestic telephone calls. Since introducing the feature in 2010, Google has, each year, extended free calling for US and Canada customers.
Google Voice may break Sprint exclusive
Google Voice's integration with Sprint could extend to other carriers soon, Group Product Manager Vincent Paquet said Monday. He explained to CNET that Google was "having discussions with other carriers." Which carriers, and how close Google was to landing deals, weren't mentioned.
Google Voice for Android updates for 4.0 link
Google has pushed out a small but significant update to Google Voice on Android (Google Play Store) built just for Android 4.0 users. Those on a Galaxy Nexus or another phone on the new OS now get Google Voice's visual voicemail integrated directly into the call log. Users can both tell whether or not there's a Google Voice message in recent calls and play it directly from the stock interface instead of resorting to the stand-alone app.
Google Plus Circles now available in Google Voice
Google on Thursday has added the ability of users to organize their contacts within Google Voice thanks to their existing Circles in the Google+ social network. The change lets users control who can reach them and how, giving them options to send close friends to their mobile, so-so acquaintances to voicemail, or the in-laws to the wife's number. The changes can be made in the Groups & Circles tab in a user's Google Voice settings.
Google Voice gets quiet but major update
Quickly following on the heels of Chrome for Android, Google has also posted an update of Google Voice (Android Market). The new version now has an interface in line with Android 4.0. Tablet owners also now have a click-to-call feature to hand over calls: the option passes a phone number off to a phone associated with Google Voice to start the conversation on a more natural device.
Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Sprint takes signups
Google has posted a signup page for the Sprint version of the Galaxy Nexus. Potential early adopters can get information about when the Android 4.0 phone hits the carrier and also might get news of "Nexus products, services, and features." Those who put in a ZIP code can get locations for shops when orders start.
Google Voice on iOS now relays Sprint calls
Google on Wednesday quietly rolled an update to its Google Voice app for iOS (App Store) with a major help to Sprint users. The app now lets iPhone owners on Sprint take full advantage of Google Voice integration on the network. All Google Voice calls on Sprint now get relayed to the native phone component and make it even more a part of Google's service.
Free domestic calling program gets extension
Google has announced that its Google Voice service will continue to offer free domestic calls within the US and Canada through the end of 2012. The search giant originally committed to free US and Canadian domestic calling through the end of 2011, leaving users to wonder if the popular service would transition to a paid subscription or another business model at the end of the year.
Google Voice now iOS 5 ready
Google on Friday posted its promised Google Voice update (App Store) for iOS 5. The release fixes a major crash bug that in many cases prevented users from logging in or even launching the app. The fix is the only known update.
Google Voice temporarily out of iOS App Store
Google has temporarily but voluntarily pulled Google Voice for iOS devices (App Store, cached) following a major bug with iOS 5. At least some users are reporting the app crashing when they try to sign in. Senior Product Manager Vincent Paquet explained that the company didn't want the problem to spread before it could provide a fix.
Google Voice users can now get MMS from Sprint
Google on Friday said it had begun the first steps to bring MMS capability to its Google Voice service. Sprint subscribers can now send pictures and videos to Google Voice users. Multimedia attachments will display on the cellphone that forwards the content as well as in their e-mail inboxes and their e-mail inbox once they enable text to e-mail forwarding in Google Voice settings.
Google Voice coming to Europe, testing now live
Google Voice is now being tested in Europe, Google's European Director of Business Development, Jens Redmer, told TheNextWeb. Redmer was answering questions at the European Pirate Summit in Cologne, Germany and stated that the company is taking "concrete action" on bringing Google Voice to Europe. The trials will also lead to an international launch of the service.
Microsoft believed overpaying for Skype by 4.5b
Microsoft's $8.5 billion purchase of Skype may have been the result of it being fooled into paying more. Multiple tips claimed Tuesday that Google was bidding but had stopped at $4 billion, less than half what Microsoft paid. TechCrunch was told that Facebook had never been in competition and, while not intentional, ended up convincing Microsoft it had to bid more to stay in the running.
Users report wide range of problems
Sprint appears to be experiencing problems with its Google Voice integration, as Google's troubleshooting forums have been flooded with users reporting a wide range of problems. Discussion topics point to alleged problems relating to errors enabling Google Voice services, numbers being assigned to other users, incorrect billing, and several other issues.
BigPhone update in Mac App Store
A new tool for building and publishing mobile applications has been released by AppsBar. The self titled app creation utility combines a number of tools that guide users through the process of creating, editing, and publishing mobile applications. As creators work through the formation process they are provided with a number of opportunities to personalize the app with colors, fonts, and personal media. Support is also included for publishing content for multiple devices through iTunes, Android Market, and Windows Marketplace. All data is stored online and users can create and publish as many apps as they want for free. However, AppsBar will only allow created content to be released as free applications in their respective app stores.
Nexus S 4G dated and priced for Sprint
Sprint on Tuesday settled its launch plans for the Google Nexus S 4G. Its version of the official Android 2.3 phone is now due to ship on May 8 and will cost $200 on a contract. Data will cost the usual $80 per month for unlimited access and $30 extra per month for those who want to use Android's native hotspot feature.
Google Voice now actively using Sprint
Sprint's promised connection to Google Voice has quietly gone live earlier than the rumored April 26 target date. Those visiting Google Voice on the web now have the option of enabling the link, which allows calling from the web using the Sprint phone number as the ID. The system also gives the option of linking the Google Voice number to the Sprint service itself and using Google's text-transcripted voicemail as the default.
Google Nexus S 4G and Google Voice tested
At CTIA we had the opportunity to try the Nexus S 4G and Google Voice integration to see how they stacked up as the respective flagships of the Android and Sprint platforms. While simple, both of them promise to change how people use the web and make calls. Read on for our quick take.
Nexus S 4G official with Sprint Google Voice link
Sprint and Google today confirmed the existence of the Nexus S 4G as well as a special collaboration on Google Voice. The phone still has an unaltered Android 2.3 that promises speedy updates but adds faster WiMAX. Google Voice also now effectively takes over, Google said: users can run their actual Sprint phone number as a Google Voice number to reach multiple phones at once, and any calls or text messages sent from Gmail on the web will show the Sprint number.
Google Nexus S 4G leaked by Sprint's own site
Sprint has inadvertently given away details of the Google Nexus S 4G through a casual search of the carrier's own pages. A blurb turning up in the results both confirms stock Android 2.3 through the "pure Google" experience but also a possible improvement on the original Nexus S through "fully integrated" Google Voice. The phone mention spotted by an Engadget reader would have the pseudo-VoIP service built in from the start to provide a single phone number across devices, voicemail to text conversion, and web calling.
Google Voice can make pure Internet calls
Google Voice users learned late Monday that the service now has a way of making purely Internet-based phone calls. Making a SIP call with a "sip:" prefix, the Google Voice phone number and @sip.voice.google.com skips the conventional phone network entirely, saving users cellphone minutes. Disruptive Telephony tested it and found that a call worked "great."
Google acquires SayNow for Google Voice upgrade
SayNow on Tuesday confirmed that it had been bought by Google in what's now suspected to be a video chat upgrade to Google Voice. The service earned a reputation for handling custom celebrity phone lines but also for integrating both live and recorded calls into mobile apps and video chats, such as turning recordings into messages in Smule's I Am T-Pain app for the iPhone and letting fans call into a 50 Cent online video event. A source told AllThingsD that these and other features could be integral for an upgrade to Google Voice that would compete with both traditional VoIP and video chat systems from Apple.
Google Voice number porting now live
After a brief tease a few days ago, Google today switched on number porting for Google Voice. The option lets those with a long-serving phone number turn it into a Google Voice number. Making the swap lets users change the number of their cellphone or any other phone without disrupting the number friends might prefer to call.
China may hurt VoIP services to guard competition
China may have broadcast intentions to discourage VoIP services such as Skype today with a warning on Thursday. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology warned online that it would target "illegal Internet phone services," but didn't say which ones were involved. Government officials have previously argued that only government-backed carriers have the right to join Internet connections to their phone networks.
Apple posts Google Voice for iPhone
After one of the longest app delays in memory, Apple today posted Google Voice for the iPhone (free, App Store). The app lets users make outbound calls using a Google Voice number at its reduced rates and also supports free outbound messages. Users can also check texts and voicemail with push notifications when either comes in while the app is closed.
Google's own Voice app finally reaching iPhone
Google may finally join others in bringing Google Voice back to the App Store based on tips early this morning. A contact near Google has reportedly indicated that the official Google Voice app for the iPhone has already been approved and that Google is simply holding off to finish iOS4 and iPhone 4 support. The source for TechCrunch claims it could be in the App Store within the "next few weeks."
GV Connect first re-approved Google Voice iOS app
Apple's promises of re-allowing Google Voice apps was honored today as Andreas Amann's GV Connect (free, App Store) became available once again. The title is "much faster than using the web interface" and gives access to outbout calls, text messaging and voicemail. It works with both the iPhone and iPod touch, although the iPod as expected can't take inbound calls.
Google Voice dev can resubmit for iPhone
Google Voice may see an end to its ban from the iPhone in the wake of Apple loosening and clarifying App Store rules. GV Mobile developer Sean Kovacs today said he had been told by Apple that he could resubmit his Google Voice app and was likely to have it accepted. The company had previously been silent since a batch of rejections last year.
Google Voice gets universal Android widget
Google today posted an update to the Google Voice app that gives all Android users the widgets that first made their appearance with the T-Mobile G2. The main inbox add-on shows a preview of all new voicemail and text messages and lets users jump to a given message in the full app. A settings widget provides both quick ways to launch the main app, send a text message, change the Google Voice account itself or check the amount of paid outbound calling minutes.
Gmail phone calls go live
Google today added Gmail phone calls to its existing pure Internet voice and video. The option supports placing a call to a conventional phone number, either from existing contacts or to a new number. It integrates with Google Voice and will show that number on caller ID as well as take calls sent to the same number.
Company seeks to block "one number" feature
Frontier Communications has filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming the search giant is infringing on patents related to voice services. The company suggests Google Voice uses technology protected by an existing patent related to a single dial-in number that can be used to reach customers on multiple telephone lines.
Google Voice now open without invite
Google today took Google Voice out of its test phase and made it available to all US residents. The previously invite-only service is normally free and gives users a virtual phone number that can be linked both to regular phones and to the Internet. Calls can be routed to one or more real-world devices, and voice mail at the number is given a basic speech-to-text transcript.
Android gets near real-time voicemail updates
Google has quietly updated Google Voice for Android to provide almost immediate SMS and voicemail. A new inbox sync will push notifications of new messages "within seconds" of their arriving on Google's servers; previously, the company could only promise updates within 15 minutes. The update also avoids forwarding the SMS to the phone so it doesn't get an update a second time after the usual Android SMS notice.
Android could have Star Trek-like translation
Google on Sunday revealed that it could be the first to enable voice-to-voice translation for phones. Using the existing text conversion and voice recognition its search and from Android, the company is developing a system that could recognize a spoken foreign language and recite it back in the user's native tongue. It would sort speech into segments and would analyze both the pattern of speech as well as Google's own translation history to construct a better interpretation.
Web app uses streaming tech
Google has updated the mobile web version of Voice, its special telephony service. Users can make cheaper long-distance calls, and have conventional phones linked to a single Google Voice number. iPhone owners can now place calls from within Safari, where they can also check voicemail. One limitation is that unlike some other phones, the iPhone must use Google Contacts info instead of a native address book.
Box connected directly to home Internet
Ooma has announced that its Telo VoIP device is set to get several additional features. The company's Pure Voice technology is claimed to maintain landline-quality audio even with consistent packet loss of up to 50 percent. The system complements built-in QoS methods and reduces bandwidth requirements, helping the Telo work effectively when using Internet connections heavily used by other services such as streaming video, gaming, or downloads.
VoiceCentral steps around App Store rejections
Apple's removal of Google Voice apps from the App Store has not stopped developers from finding a workaround, as VoiceCentral plans to return the service to the iPhone via Safari, according to TechCrunch. The new app, known as the Black Swan edition, is entirely web-based and appears to eliminate the roadblock posed by Apple's review team.
Google Voice light service with voicemail
Google on Tuesday rolled out a new version of Google Voice for those that don't want to change their phone numbers. Rather than route calls through a central number, the new tier uses Google Voice solely to provide visual voicemail for existing phone service. As before, messages are saved as files online and also converted into text so they can be heard or read online.