Thursday, February 25, 2010

​A smoother voice and video experience

New post from some of our video chat engineers on the Google talkabout blog, discussing some of our recent work in improving service quality. Like most Google services, video chat has lots of checks to let us measure how good our service is. So we can see in real numbers that we've dramatically improved the quality from when we launched the service a year ago. It's great seeing the needle move as our engineers roll out continual adjustments and improvements almost every week.
We have spent the last few months focusing on three things: quality, quality, and quality! For those of you with the Google voice and video chat plugin installed, you have recently received an automatic update that contains:
  • A fix that reduces crashes on newer macs (Mac OS X v10.6.2 specifically)
  • A fix for webcam compatibility on Windows (including HP webcams)
  • Several fixes to increase plugin stability
  • Several fixes to the infrastructure used to set up and connect your video calls.

From users who have chosen to “Report quality statistics” in their chat settings, we can see a substantial increase in call connection rates and a big decrease in the call drop rate. We hope that this will result in more enjoyable conversations with our software.

As with all software, working on improving quality is a never ending process, so we hope that you will continue to report any issues you have in our user forum, and we will continue to work on improving connection rates and call quality.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Google Completes Acquisition of On2 Technologies

From Digital Media Wire: Google Completes $124.6 Million Acquisition of On2

Google has announced the completion of its $124.6 million acquisition of video encoding firm On2 Technologies, following a vote by On2's shareholders to approve the deal. Google said that it plans to repurchase an equal number of shares on the open market that it issued as part of the transaction, to be funded from available working capital.

"Through rapid innovation in browsers and web standards, the Internet is becoming the leading platform for development," said Sundar Pichai, vice president of Product Management at Google.

"We believe On2's engineering talent and technology will be an incredible asset for us as we work to improve this platform."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Google voice and video v1.0.21

This week, we released the 1.0.21 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 1.0.21:
  • Fixed an incompatibility with webcams using the 24BG color space (including many HP webcams, as reported here)
  • Fixed an issue that could cause crashes on Mac OS X 10.6.2 (especially with the new iMacs, as reported here)
  • Fixed an issue that could cause crashes when receiving H.264 FU-A NAL units
  • Improved compatibility with the Opera browser
If you're on 1.0.21 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.