Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Vonage Time to Call iPhone App Makes Cheap International Calls

August 3, 2011

Vonage today launched Time to Call for the iPhone, a new mobile VoIP app that aims to deliver low-cost international calling. Vonage claims Time to Call is the first downloadable app that allows pay-per-call international dialing to more than 190 countries.  The app, designed for iPhones, lets consumers make 15-minute international calls and it features payment directly through iTunes, which will no doubt improve the adoption rate.

For a limited time, Vonage will provide a free international call, up to 15 minutes, to 100 countries. 

Google, Mozilla, Samsung & NVIDIA Join DevCon5 HTML5 Conference

July 26, 2011

Some cool news to share about TMC's DevCon5, a HTML5, WebGL and WebCL-focused conference. Executives from several heavyweights, including Google, Mozilla, Samsung, and NVIDIA will be participating.

Check out the news...

Executives from Google, Mozilla, Samsung and NVIDIA Join the Discussion at DevCon5, Taking Place July 27-28 in New York

New Sessions Discuss the Evolution of the Browsing Experience in Today’s Mobile, “Any-to-Any” Environment

Twilio, the Cloud-based VoIP/Skype App Enabler

July 26, 2011

Today, Twillio is launching their cloud-based VoIP offering that enables developers to add VoIP capabilities to any website with just three lines of code. Twilio's VoIP developer toolkit called “Twilio Client” enables realtime two-ray audio to voice-enable browsers, iOS, and Android Apps. Twilio's product uses the Flash plugin to access the microphone. But since Apple's iOS doesn't support Flash I'm told for mobile they are integrating with iOS and Android through custom mobile SDKs. The mobile SDKs will allow the Android and iPhone mobile platforms to offer Twilio-powered VoIP to their applications.

Twillio explained that "with Twilio Client, web developers worldwide can now build Skype-like voice capabilities with Twilio’s scalable, reliable communications infrastructure-as-a-service. With just a few lines of code, web and mobile applications can host voice conversations, conference calls, and other forms of rich communication." Essentially, you can think of Twilio as a hosted Skype service that lets anyone into the VoIP game.

Viber for Android Available!

July 20, 2011

Viber, a popular mobile VoIP app which enables users to make free phone calls and text messaging to other Viber users over 3G and Wi-Fi, is announcing today the official launch of the Android version of the app. Previously, it was a limited beta. Viber also stated that it has over 12 million active users (last 30 days) and has achieved an important benchmark - call traffic volume of over one billion minutes of calls per quarter.

Here are some exclusive Android Features not seen on other mobile versions (i.e. iPhone):
  • Full call screen whenever a Viber call is received;
  • Popup text message notification, which lets users respond to text messages without having to open Viber;
  • Tighter integration with the phone, which allows users to see their regular call logs and messages within Viber;
  • A default dialer setting that enables users to use the Viber dialer for all their phone calls, not just for Viber calls.
Check out the video demo:

Facebook Kid Bullies Google+ Kid. Punches Thrown, Body Slam & Hilarity Ensues

July 13, 2011

Perhaps you recall the viral video of a skinny bully picking on a much larger kid, egging him on, taunting him, punching him, until finally the larger kid has had enough, he picks up the smaller kid, lifts him in the air and body slams him on the concrete. The bigger kid (Casey Heynes) became an instant hero to millions of picked-on kids, including his own Facebook fan page. Well, what if that skinny kid was Facebook and the big kid was Google? Why you get one of the funniest animated .gifs of all time!

{Disclaimer: No Facebook or Google+ servers were harmed during the making of this film}

Why the Hell Doesn't Google+ Integrate my YouTube Videos?

July 11, 2011

So I finally bit the bullet and decided to see what all the buzz was about regarding Google+. I took one of my several invites and joined Google+ today. The first thing I did after creating my coworkers circle was to check out the uploading videos feature. Considering Google owns YouTube, I thought for sure my YouTube videos would be there or I could "link" them somehow, so I could more easily share videos from my library of uploaded YouTube videos.

Well, damn it all, it isn't integrated!

Google Talk Adopts Jingle As Default VoIP Protocol

June 24, 2011

Google has adopted Jingle as the default protocol for Google Talk. Jingle is an extension of the XMPP which allows for peer-to-peer and session control (signalling) for multimedia interactions such as VoIP and videoconferencing.

The protocol was developed by Google, Collabora, Yate, Tandberg and Jabber Inc. Others that support it include Asterisk, FreeSWITCH, Nimbuzz, and Pidgin. Imagine a P2P protocol that lets the thousands of Asterisk-based PBXs to communicate with each other using XMPP. Taking the Asterisk ecosystem along with other large user bases from Nimbuzz, Google Talk, and potentially others could potentially build the largest P2P VoIP / video conferencing network in the world. Bigger than Skype.

Google Building Skype-like App in the Browser

June 22, 2011

Look out out Skype, Google Chrome is looking to add voice & video capabilities to the Google Chrome browser. Shortly after releasing WebRTC audio and video chat software as open-source, Google has begun to integrate WebRTC into Google Chrome. They're leveraging Global IP Solutions (GIPS) for the VoIP and video codec pieces. As you know, GIPS used to be the packet loss concealment and VoIP codec used by Skype before Skype dropped them in 2006. Google acquired GIPS in May of 2010.

Gmail currently has audio and video capabilities but it requires the use of a proprietary plug-in, so it can benefit from this as well.

Google Promotes $.0007 VoIP Access Rate to FCC

June 17, 2011

Google recently weighed in on the Universal Service Fund (USF) and carrier access charges, which will affect the future of both broadband and VoIP. Over the past few years, there have been past court skirmishes over whether VoIP service providers must contribute to the FCC. VoIP has changed the landscape of telecom regulation and the FCC is scrambling to keep up, while not killing innovation or slowing the fast growing VoIP industry in the process.

With Google offering the popular Google Voice offering, which technically isn't VoIP, but could head in that direction, Google is leery over having to pay into the USF or pay carrier access charges. After all, if Google carries the voice call over IP, why should they have to pay into the USF, which was designed to help rural areas have subsidized access to the PSTN network?

Top 20 VoIP Innovators of All Time

June 13, 2011

VoIP has come a long way since it was first popularized by VocalTec in the mid 1990s. Here is a slideshow of the Top 20 VoIP Innovators of all time with photo captions explaining why they merit this top 20 ranking. Most innovators are companies, but not all. Two important VoIP standards make the list, which cannot be attributed to a single individual or company.
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