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At this year's Google I/O, Google introduced a unified chat platform under the Hangouts branding. For most, this is a great thing, however, for some, it's terrible. As discovered by danib62 on Twitter, switching to the new Hangouts removes the ability to use Google Voice from Gmail.
If you'll recall from last summer, I wrote about traveling with technology. While abroad, I made extensive use of this Gmail Voice calling feature to make free calls home. Removing it seems like either a gross oversight by Google or a directed attempt to shy away from the Voice product.
Luckily for those who use Google Voice in Gmail, Google is allowing users to revert to the old Google Talk. This doesn't mean that Google won't eventually force all users over to the new Hangouts, but it does help those who accidentally upgraded without realizing it takes away the Google Voice ability.
Google have been tinkering with their Blink engine, and have removed a crazy 8.8 million lines of code. Blink is a rendering browser engine, with the team behind Blink removing those 8.8 million lines of code in just over a month.
Alex Komoroske, a product manager on Chrome's Open Web Platform, spoke to a group of Google I/O attendees that removing so much code had more than one improvement - not only did it improve the engine itself, but it had a huge effect on the engineers, too. The engineers are more productive and the team is now exploring new rendering techniques and code contribution requests from Abode, Intel, and Microsoft.
Google is well-known for hiding Easter eggs within its products and the new Hangouts is no different. There are at least six Easter eggs present in Hangouts that have been detailed by a Google+ user. You'll need to be using the desktop version of Hangouts on Google+ or the Chrome Extension.
Head on over to Google+ Hangouts and try these Easter eggs out. Some people have reported a few issues with the web interface for Hangouts, but these same reports say the Chrome app works flawlessly.
Yahoo has scheduled a product event in New York City for Monday, May 20. This comes at a time where rumors are flying around that Yahoo is interested in picking up Tumblr. It follows that Yahoo could use this event to announce a buyout, partnership, or something else related to Tumblr, which gives the Tumblr rumor a bit of fire.
There are plenty of other things Yahoo could be planning for the event, but the rumored Tumblr deal seems the most likely, especially since this event has been hastily thrown together. Of course, we'll cover the event and let you know just what happened at the event. Until then, we'll keep speculation to a minimum.
Time Warner Cable (TWC) has in the past mentioned that it would like its own Aereo-like service and we may have just figured out how they plan to reach that goal. Bloomberg is reporting that TWC is considering buying a major equity stake in Hulu so that they "could offer Hulu to its customers as a bundled service inside and outside of the home with its current products."
This would allow TWC customers to watch their favorite shows on Hulu without having to purchase a Hulu Plus subscription package. The deal would see Time Warner Cable taking a 33 percent stake in Hulu with the other 67 percent being held by Disney, Comcast and News Corp.
Glenn Britt, CEO of Time Warner Cable, said that this move would offer TWC customers more value and would fill a void in the industry where cable customers need more flexibility. He said that he wants to offer customers "smaller, more affordable packages that don't cost them upward of $100 a month."
This morning a video has surface which is said to be of Microsoft origin and was never meant for the public's eyes. The video takes aim at Microsoft and points out that Google earns its revenue by targeting you with personalized ads.
Set to the tune of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, the video features Google's Chrome logo as a sort of bouncing ball and it highlights how the evil Google is cashing in on you by targeting ads at you through all of your devices. It fails to point out that TV services, magazines, newspapers, and pretty much everything else in the world is doing exactly the same thing.
Ads have always been targeted, and always will be. It would be foolish and a waste of money to place an ad that none of its viewers would be interested in. Let's not forget either that Microsoft buys ad space on Google's services, and that it too has been the focus of seemingly shady business moves in the past.
Google had a massive opening day at Google I/O. Today, the company announced that they are expanding livestreaming options by opening the platform up to more users. Now, any channel that has more than 1,000 subscribers will be able to use YouTube to livestream events.
This will cover most major channels, meaning livestreaming will be more available. However, by setting this arbitrary barrier, it will help keep out less useful or lower-quality livestreams. It will also help YouTube manage costs as livestreams cost more to produce and host than a normal YouTube video.
- You get real-time transcoding in the cloud, so you only need to send us your highest quality stream and we make it instantly available in all resolutions and device formats
- You can show multiple camera angles, add closed captions, and insert ads and slates
- Viewers can watch the live stream from any device, get the best quality constantly adjusting to their Internet connection, and can skip back and forth in the live stream
Time to report on another Google update announced today at Google I/O. Google has integrated its Wallet product into Gmail to allow people to send money with an e-mail. This makes the product competitive with PayPal, which also allows you to send money to other people. However, PayPal doesn't allow you to attach money to an e-mail.
The new attach money feature will allow you to send money to everyone, including people who don't have a Gmail account. According to Google, all transactions are stored on secure servers in encrypted form. Google monitors transactions for fraud and Wallet Purchase Protection covers 100 percent of "eligible unauthorized transactions."
It's pretty cool to be able to attach money to an e-mail just as you would attach an image or other attachment.
If you happened to miss Google's I/O keynote because you weren't there, you can check out our coverage on our new Live Blog feature. Or, you can spend the 3 hours and 30 minutes to watch a recorded version of the keynote on YouTube. We've embedded the YouTube video below for your viewing pleasure:
In the keynote, Google unveiled a bunch of new products, features, and updates. Changes include a completely revamped Maps interface and updates to Knowledge Graph. New features include an unlimited music-streaming service through Google Play Music. We will have continuing coverage of Google I/O here on TweakTown, so be sure to stay tuned!
As part of today's Google I/O keynote, Google debuted its upgraded Music product. Under the Google Play naming scheme, Google Play Music All Access provides unlimited streaming via the web and up to 10 authorized devices for just $9.99 per month, the same fee as charged by Spotify. Better yet, if you sign up for the free 30-day trial before June 7, the monthly charge will be just $7.99.
As you can see above, I've already signed up for the service. It's important to note that the service is only currently available in the United States. I've also been unable to get All Access working on my iPhone via Google's web app. In order to compete directly with Spotify, Google will need to develop a desktop app and an iOS app.