Most of us will have seen the recent wranglings with the former owners of Skype taking legal action about the ownership underlying technology used by Skype and how Skype were in talks to acquire VoIP startup Gizmo5 to replace the underlying codebase that they were being sued over? Well it seems that not only did Skype and its founders come to an agreement and save the underlying codebase, but Gizmo5 got acquired after all and not by Skype but by Google.
Talk about moving fast – Google pounced on the the peer to peer VoIP provider Gizmo5 just as its chances of being acquired by Skype had been dashed. Gizmo5 is an unscaled, but proven peer to peer VoIP provider. It has six million users for its SIP based P2P VoIP service. The service would add the a PSTN link to allow incoming or outbound calls to real phones which Google Voice currently lacks. According to various sources, Google has bought Gizmo5 for $30 million, but the official announcement has yet to be made.
It is going to be interesting to see how Google is going to integrate this technology into it’s portfolio of applications for sure it will form part of the Google Voice
Google has announced it has begun accepting new users for Google Voice, but this is not the full public launch. After a lot of speculation about when the service would actually go live, Google began sending emails to users who had registered interest back in March.
Google did not say how many invitations would be sent at this limited release for the service or when a general launch will begin.
Google will be using the transcribed voicemails for contextual advertising this has led to complaints from consumer groups that this may be an invasion of privacy, however it is obvious that like Gmail many users are prepared to accept targeted advertising for a free service. It seems that correctly targeted advertising sits OK with most users as opposed to being bombarded with glossy flashing general adverts.
See the announcement on the Officail Google Blog Here.
We see that Google has now rebranded the GrandCentral service as Google Voice. So what exactly are Google offering in the voice market ?
Google Voice will help you manage your phone numbers. You just sign up for the service and pick an area code. The phone number you get will then act as your one number, forwarding the calls it receives to your home, mobile or work number etc.
Google have made it easy to set up rules for call routing, and the service comes with handy extras like call recording and emailed or SMS voice mail transcripts. The beauty of the service is that you in effect get a single lifetime number, your personal numbers behind the service can change.
We like the way Google look at things from a different angle – they have taken a voicemail service and used Speech to Text to convert the voice into a form that will then sit well with their underlying search engine technology.
We have registered interest to try the service when it becomes more readily available outside of the US.
This month seems to be developing in to a Google Android themed one – our regular readers will know we are fans of Open Source as this seems to promote developments and brings more people to the party for innovation on products.
Our previous post shows an Android based Desktop device, the NIMble from Touch Revolution, this time we are discussing a portable device that is not a mobile phone but can support Skype and VoIP. The GiiNii Mini Movit is being touted as a Mobile Internet device aimed at young people who want to access the internet on the go and a lot more besides.
WiFi for hotspot use anywhere
Built-in microphone/speaker to make Skype calls and more
Bluetooth 2.0 if you want to use a headset or pair with other Bluetooth device
Video & still camera can be used as webcam
Address book gives you easy access to desired phone numbers
Stream video and audio
Built-in lithium battery so you can take it anywhere
Easily connect to social networks like Facebook™, MySpace™, Twitter™, etc.
The specification looks good but I think they missed a trick by not adding mobile access such as 3G but it seems that Android is lending itself well to Touch Screen access so lets see what other innovative devices come out with Android.
We have heared about the Android Operating System from Google for mobile devices and we saw T Mobile hit the market with the G1 device well it appears that there is a development underway to produce a desktop phone using the same OS.
Designed by Touch Revolution (the company founder is Mark Hamblin, who was the Product Design Lead of the iPhone Touch Screen), the NIMble features a 7-inch touchscreen (800×400) with a 624MHz Marvel processor, SD expansion slot, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Touch Revolution has built their own software on top of the Android platform for entertainment and home networking stuff. It will be a cool VoIP desktop device that will do an awful lot more so lets see what happens when it hits the market later this year.
It will be interesting to see if any other desktop devices look to adopt the Android Operating System as this would extend the adoption of it as an important OS in the market place.
We like to talk about news that could change the marketplace in our industry – well we believe that the launch of the first phone supporting Google’s Opensource Operating System Android is big news. We see lots of phones supporting the Symbian Operating system, Microsoft and various other manufacturer specific well this is the first time we see an Opensource Linux based phone.
T-Mobile have launched the G1 phone manufactured by HTC to the USA market and it shows some of the most advanced capabilities of the Android operating system, by including a touchscreen, QWERTY keyboard, accelerated 3D graphics, Wi-Fi and 3G support, GPS and accelerometer. The device won’t have an impressive design and it won’t be as easy to use as an iPhone, but it will certainly be able to run a lot of interesting applications.
G1 Google Android Phone
We will be watching to see which other manufacturers will adopt the Android system – it looks as though those currently using Microsoft will be able to move the quickest.
Visit the google Android blog here or visit the unofficial Google System Blogspot here for some useful information on the G1
We see that Google have launched the Beta version of their Chrome browser – there has been an awful lot written about it and the impact it may have in the market place. We see many discussions about Google trying to take Microsoft head on.
We like it, in fact we have used it to write this post and it seems a very clean and simple to use product, Google always go for the ‘clean’ uncluttered look with their products. We will use it from now on and it will be interesting to see how it performs when we try to use it for configuration of Telecom and Networking products which all seem to have their own little foibles when it comes to browsers.
Whatever the affect Chrome has in the marketplace we like Opensource products and welcome Google putting it out.