Friday, September 18, 2009

Google voice and video v1.0.15, for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

Today, we released a specific 1.0.15 update for the Google voice and video chat software. This update is for Mac computers only, and is focused on resolving compatibility issues with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. All current Mac installations on OS 10.4 and 10.5 will begin an automatic update within the next few days.

However, if you have previously installed an older version of Google voice and video chat on OS 10.6, you will need to visit and download the new 1.0.15 version.

You can use your Gmail account to find out what version is currently installed. Simply go to the Gmail Settings page and look under the "Chat" tab. You will see the plugin version under the "Learn more" link, in small type.

The following Mac OS X 10.6 issues were fixed in version 1.0.15:
  • Fixed problem where the Google Talk Plugin was not detected in Safari
  • Fixed problem where the Google Talk Plugin would delay system sleep by 30 seconds
  • Fixed problem where video would not be displayed in a video chat
  • Fixed problem where registration for automatic upgrades did not work
  • Fixed problem when uninstalling and reinstalling the same version
The issue with video not being displayed in a video chat is the result of a QuickTime bug in OS 10.6. We have implemented a workaround for this situation, but we have received reports that an extra step may be necessary for some users. If, after installing version 1.0.15, you continue to encounter this issue with video not being displayed, a single reboot of your Mac should fix the problem. We are working with Apple to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

If you are on 1.0.15 and experience problems, please report them on the Gmail voice and video chat forums. As always, feel free to email me directly as well.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Voice and video chat in Orkut!

Following on our recent launches of chat in Orkut and video chat in iGoogle, today we launched voice and video chat in Orkut. This makes Orkut the first social network with built-in voice and video chat, and significantly expands the reach of the Google video chat network.

Read more about this launch on the Orkut blog.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Using Zfone to secure Google video chats

One of our team members sent me a link indicating that Zfone could be used to secure Google voice and video chats with ZRTP (as shown in the screenshot above). I did some research, and it turns out that one of the Zfone developers managed to get this wired up a few months ago, as documented in an entry on the Zfone blog. For those not familiar with Zfone, Zfone is a small download that encrypts voice and video traffic so that it cannot be intercepted or tampered with, all with minimal setup. You can read more about Zfone/ZRTP on the Zfone FAQ.

I haven't had a chance to try this out yet, but it's pretty neat that the Zfone team was able to get this working without any support from us (yay standards!). If you want to give it a shot, you can download the Zfone Beta for Windows, Mac, and Linux from this site.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

XMPP support on App Engine

Google Talkabout: XMPP support on App Engine

Thanks to some great work by Michael Davidson, AppEngine now supports the ability to host XMPP bots (written in either Java or Python). All the tricky work of setting up and deploying a bot is now handled for you.

To get started, head to the AppEngine site on Google Code and check out the API docs (Java | Python).