Video Call

Amazon’s “creepy” Echo Show feature is being overhyped

Amazon’s “creepy” Echo Show feature is being overhyped

Listen to the critics, and Amazon's Echo Show represents be a honeypot of privacy intrusion and creepy surveillance. Though Alexa, the retailer's virtual assistant, isn't new, the addition of a camera to the Echo Show smart speaker gives her eyes in your home for the first time. It's the circumstances around when those eyes are open - and who can turn on that camera remotely - that is triggering privacy fears.

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Amazon Echo calling and messaging takes on Skype

Amazon Echo calling and messaging takes on Skype

Amazon's Echo Show may be the retail behemoth's biggest news today, but it's also going after Skype and other internet calling services with a new Alexa feature. Debuting on the Echo Show, the new Alexa Calling and Messaging service will actually be available across all of the Echo devices, though not all will support the same features. At its core, though, the new service will turn your Echo gadgets into a hands-free calling system.

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Signal encrypted chat app adds video calls, iOS users beware

Signal encrypted chat app adds video calls, iOS users beware

At the height of the great Snowden whistleblowing phase of history, highly secure and encrypted messaging services became en vogue. While some of that has died down, a notable few like Signal remain. Developed by Open Whisper Systems, which also developers the Signal protocol now used by Whatsapp for encryption, the Signal app started out as a simple, text-based chat app. Now it is on the cusp of its next evolution, adding that oh so popular video chatting capability, though still in beta format.

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WhatsApp update download brings Video Calls to Beta

WhatsApp update download brings Video Calls to Beta

WhatsApp has been updated to include video calling for the first time in the messaging app's history. This functionality was first brought to the Windows Phone version of the app, by some miracle, but is now ready for Android. The update for iOS was just made this past week, but it does not appear as though video calling is quite prepared for the iPhone as yet.

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Google Duo (somewhat) launches to make video calls a breeze

Google Duo (somewhat) launches to make video calls a breeze

Despite being called smartphones majority of users hardly use their mobile devices for voice calls anymore these days. Of course, some still do, but even those usually course it through VoIP services rather than regular cellular lines. With phone calls practically a dead venue, Google is turning its attention to what it bills as the next best thing to communicating with someone with a personal touch: video calls. But as nice as the thought may be, video chat is also the most unreliable medium. That is why Google is finally launching its Duo app and service to make video calls a piece of cake.

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Look out Cisco, Logitech is gunning for your video calls

Look out Cisco, Logitech is gunning for your video calls

You may not have realized it, but there's a war going on in video calling. The space between impromptu, FaceTime-style smartphone chats and huge, custom conference suite installations is widening, as offices evolve and collaborations span countries not just cubicles.

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Skype group video calls coming to mobile really soon

Skype group video calls coming to mobile really soon

It sounds unbelievable, both because it feels too young and at the same time too old, but Skype's video calling service launched for free. At least that is what the company, now owned by Microsoft, is celebrating. And to commemorate that tenth anniversary, Skype is announcing that it will be launching something new soon. Well, not exactly new but new for mobile at least. Group video calling, which has been possible on the desktop version of Skpe, will soon be available on Android, iOS, and even Windows Phone. And it will all be available for free too.

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T-Mobile starts rolling out native video calling feature

T-Mobile starts rolling out native video calling feature

Most smartphones have a front-facing camera, but video calling is still far from common. Despite it not being as convenient as voice calls in certain situations, it's also more difficult to arrange -- you'll need the other person to install the same app (Messenger, for example) in order to place a video call, and will need to toggle between apps depending on what your friends are using. T-Mobile is, as has become its focus, aiming to change this. Today the wireless carrier announced native video calls, which places the new calling feature right in the phone's dialer.

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Skype for Web offers browser calls for US and UK

Skype for Web offers browser calls for US and UK

Skype for Web, the browser-based version of the popular voice and video messaging service, has rolled out across the US and UK. Revealed in beta at the tail-end of last year, the web app can effectively replace the standalone Skype client, delivering the same video, audio, and IM communications only through the browser. It could be useful, Microsoft says, for those using public computers while traveling, or when you're on a different machine and haven't the time (or the inclination, frankly) to install the full software.

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Facebook Messenger video calling now rolling out to all

Facebook Messenger video calling now rolling out to all

It's time to freshen up, comb that hair, exercise that jaw, and maybe bring out the dictionary or translation guide. Facebook Messenger's new video calling feature, which was announced barely a month ago, is now starting to roll out everywhere and on every platform. Messenger is shaping up to be one distinct and, more importantly, distinguishable product apart from Facebook's main app, giving users the convenience of expressing themselves better, more immediately, and perhaps more creatively than they could with text, emoji, stickers, or even memes.

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Google uses lax encryption for Hangouts; wiretapping very possible

Google uses lax encryption for Hangouts; wiretapping very possible

If you’re on iOS, you likely use Facetime for video chats and iMessage for more casual text-based back-and-forth talks. If you use Android, Hangouts likely handles the same workload, but maybe not in the same way. While Apple’s chat services use end-to-end encryption, it’s now been discovered Google doesn’t subscribe to that school of thought. In a recent Reddit AMA, an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) employee prompted a Googler to disclose just how secure Hangouts is. Spoiler: it isn’t very secure.

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Logitech ConferenceCam Connect puts video chat in stick

Logitech ConferenceCam Connect puts video chat in stick

There's clearly a trend toward slightly-ominous slender cylinders in tech: first Amazon's Echo, and now Logitech has put the form-factor to use as a portable Full HD video conferencing gadget. The Logitech ConferenceCam Connect may at first glance look like a fancy sippy-cup for commuters to tote their coffee around in, but it's actually a fancy 1080p camera with ZEISS optics and integrated wireless, capable of turning a smartphone or tablet into an impromptu display, and linking roving employees into their company's video conferencing systems.

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