There is a serious problem going on currently with messages sent from some users via Google Hangouts. The problem is that some senders are seeing their chat messages sent to the wrong recipients. The problem has reportedly been occurring since about 4 PM EST.
This week the teams behind several of Google's key apps for Android have ushered in updates that tie the family together closer, ushering in an environment ripe for a new operating system iteration. That new version is, of course, Android 4.4 KitKat, and considering Google has been ushering in the press on the subject so readily over the past couple of weeks, there's little doubt that this system is far from ready for prime-time. This weeks' app updates include Gmail for Android, Hangouts for Android, and Google Now - through Google Search, of course.
Google introduced Hangouts On Air quite some time back. In fact, this setup was released for all Google+ users back in May of 2012. And while this was a good way for users to go "On Air" there were some features that were missing, specifically in terms of audience interaction. That said, a new Hangouts On Air update has added just that, a feature called Live Q&A.
Starting this month, users will be experience an increased bit of quality in their Google+ Hangouts video chat as result of the company switching over to a new form of video codec. The video codec itself isn't new, it having been released all the way back in 2010, but it's new to this Google system, and just as video chat begins to hit the likes of smartphones and tablets with Hangouts, Google has let it be known that they'll be bringing a higher definition to the web as well. Speaking with Janko Roettgers of GigaOM, Google's Vice President of Engineering Chee Chew let it be known that Google is switching from H.264 to the codec known as VP8.
Back in May, Google+ Hangouts was unveiled at the Internet giant's I/O 2013 event, with the service now being available for use across iOS, Android, and on the Web. Though Google Voice still hasn't been integrated into the service, a different change has taken place with the latest Android update that will make AT&T users happy.
When we need to know how to cook a certain meal, or how to fix up our bicycle, YouTube can only do so much when offering up how-to videos. However, Google is currently testing and will soon launch a new service called Helpouts that aims to connect experts with those who need help using Google+ Hangouts.
On August 14, the Google+ app for Android updated to version 4.1, bringing with it a variety of new features and the elimination of Messenger. Now the same update has rolled out for the iOS app after a couple day delay, this particular one taking Apple users to version 4.5 and likewise doing away with Messenger in favor of Hangouts.
Google this week brings a new Nexus 7 to the market along with software updates that will allow full-screen sharing through Hangouts. What this means for the lay person is that, when you connect with a friend or colleague with the Android app Hangouts, you'll not just be able to do video and text chat, you'll be able to share the images on your tablet's screen as well. This includes document editing as well.
NOTE: This feature was shown by Google as a PREVIEW, meaning it won't be released today, but some time in the near future. We'll let you know when it's time!
Google has restored voice call functionality to desktop Hangouts in Gmail, Google+, and the Chrome extension, after the feature disappeared for those early-adopters who switched from the previous chat widget. The company has offered voice calls through Gmail for some time now, including free calls within the US and Canada as part of a frequently-renewed promotion, and as of this week Hangouts gets the upgrade too.
Google recently unified its various chat services into one last week with the announcement of Hangouts at Google I/O. This will allow you chat with friends like a normal IM client, but it also integrates Google's video chatting capabilities. However, if you use Google Voice religiously, you might have noticed that outbound calls from the desktop have been disabled, but Google says that this will come back in the near future.