Video-conferencing tool Zoom is seeing a surge in use during the coronavirus pandemic, due to people being stuck at home and unable to meet in meatspace groups. I’ve read about people using Zoom to drop in on yoga and pilates classes, as well as for more usual business-related activities.
Allo, the exciting new messaging platform from Google, landed on Android and iOS today — but you might want to think twice before you rush to download it. Every conversation you have with Allo will be logged by Google (unless you remember to go incognito).
Most of us have heard nightmare stories of friends who traveled abroad only to come home with a horrific cellphone bill. Either they forgot to put their device in Airplane Mode, or didn’t consider an international plan. Those types of mistakes have cost people hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in international fees for phone calls and data usage abroad.
Stories like these are becoming less common, however, as technology improves. One of the best and most recent advancements are new plans that make it easier for folks to travel to another country and still be able to use their current phone.
We tell you about three options for using your phone while traveling abroad, so you can keep in touch with friends and family back home — and not spend too much in the process.
Google’s chat and video messaging service, Hangouts, got a whole new standalone web app on Monday afternoon.
“We are launching another way to use Hangouts today,” writes Google’s Jordanna Chord on Google Plus. “From our new site you’ll be able to take advantage of the best of Hangouts in the browser, along with an inspiring image to get you through the day.”
Now you’ll be able to keep in touch with all your Hangouts-using buddies in any web broswer, including Safari, without having to run Gmail or Google Plus (or the Chrome app).
Get ready to say au revoir to that unwanted Google+ account you randomly get a friend requests on once a year.
Google announced today that in the coming months the company will allow you to create a YouTube Channel, or Gmail account, without creating a Google+ account. And for those of us who were forced onto Google+, there will be an option to finally remove your public profile.
If you’re looking to plan a heist, you’d probably best stay clear of Hangouts: Google has inadvertently confirmed that its chat platform is susceptible to police and government monitoring.
While the tech giant usually keeps quiet about Hangouts’ security features, the revelation (of sorts) came out of an “Ask Me Anything” session Friday on Reddit that included members of Google’s public policy department and legal team. Its proposed topic was “the current status of U.S. government surveillance law reform and how Google thinks about these issues,” but the questions were less about laws or reform and more about Google’s practices.
Google has released a major update to its Hangouts iOS app. Most notably, the new version includes a design makeover that’s more akin to iOS 7. Short video messages can be sent to contacts, and location data can also be shared.
A somewhat concerning bug affecting a large number of Google Hangouts and Google Talk users is causing messages to be delivered to the wrong recipients. The problem, which appears to have started early this morning, is already being investigated by Google — but you may want to avoid using these services for the time being if you can.