Sunday, November 22, 2009

Google voice and video v1.0.16

Today, we released the 1.0.16 update for the Google voice and video chat software. All current installations will begin an automatic update within the next few days. If you do not want to wait, you can visit and re-run the installer.

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.

Here's what's new in version 1.0.16:
  • Substantially enhanced noise reduction algorithm, which should noticeably reduce background noise during calls
  • Video codec quality and efficiency improvements, including support for the pending H.264-SVC packetization standard
  • Fixed problems with incorrect display of video streams with nonstandard aspect ratios
  • Fixed problems on certain Macs where the camera could take several seconds to start up
  • Fixed several crashes, plus additional diagnostics to detect deadlock situations
If you're on 1.0.16 and still having a problem, please take a look at the Google Chat Help Center, or report the issue on the Google Voice and Video Help Forum. As always, feel free to email me directly as well.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Hulk Hogan visits Google!

As part of our Authors @ Google series, Hulk Hogan stopped by Google Kirkland on Tuesday to discuss his new book, My Life Outside the Ring. Having watched Hulk Hogan while growing up (including, of all things, Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling), I had to check this out.

(Above, Hulk wishes me a Happy 35th Birthday...)
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Some hints at what's in store for Google video chat...

From SFGate: Google Apps will get stronger video chat capabilities
Google Apps users can expect to see significant improvements in the suite's voice- and video-chat capabilities, as the company builds on Gmail's current features in that area.

Gmail's voice and video chats are now limited to one-to-one communications, but Google wants to broaden that capability to more than two participants and make it more robust all around for Apps.

"This [current Gmail capability] is the first step in a much broader set of features we hope to roll out over the next six to 12 months around video [and voice] chat capabilities," said Rishi Chandra, a Google Apps product manager. "It's a great opportunity for us to push that space along."