Gizmo Project announced today an new update to their popular softphone. Read reviews by Om Malik, Luca, and Tom Keating. The biggest addition is the ability to now call Windows Live and Yahoo Messenger contacts in addition to Google Talk, Jabber and other Gizmo users.
Today, if you’re already a Gizmo Project user you get the download and install the new version from the web site, click here. Sometime tomorrow or Thursday, the Gizmo folks will add an automatic install feature that prompts you to install the new version the next time Gizmo starts up. I like that.
As for using it, I’ve made a few test calls to Windows Live Messenger. Just enter the MSN ID in the call field, pretty easy. However the only way I can see to save a MSN or Yahoo contact to the contact list, is to select GoogleTalk in the Contact Type box. I don’t know if this is the intended use but….users don’t always do what they’re supposed to do…
On the receiving end, the incoming call didn’t look like me. It looked like GTalkToVoip was calling (who in the world is that?). Answering the call and hanging up seem fine, but after that, the whole process seemed to crash Windows Live (receiving end). I don’t use Windows Live for voice at all so I’m not an expert. In my opinion, you’re better off just inviting your friends to join Gizmo.
Phoneboy has a great post on how and why handsets make it to the US market, with special perspective on those from Nokia. It kind of provides an answer to questions I get from time to time from visitors to this blog. Mainly, they’re frustrated when they hear about new mobile VOIP services, especially “free” or “beta” ones that they can’t experience because a) it’s not clear which handsets the services run on b) it’s not clear if the handsets are even available, and c) who the heck knows if the network even supports them. Judging from what Phoneboy says, it’s clear that US carriers probably don’t support (or at least officially authorize) anything bleeding edge.
Such are the trials and tribulations of early adoption. Just hurry up already.
You don’t have to listen too closely to hear voip and other tech bloggers talk about how for the consumer market, services and applications have to be “dead simple”. Well here’s something embarrassing…for me.
I’m not an IT pro, but I’m not a novice pc user either. I have a Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop, which I love. I’ve had it since last June. When I started demo-ing voip applications for this blog, especially web click-to-call, and pc phone applications, I was using one of two headset/microphones. I mean my laptop has two clearly marked jacks for audio in/audio out. I futz about with these headsets on a regular basis, plugging in, unplugging, trying different things. My husband and I share them you see. So one time I was trying to find my headset and get it plugged in in time to answer an incoming Skype call.
“You know,” my husband says, “Your Dell probably has a built in mic.” Nope, I’d already checked that out. I looked for one, a label, a little pinhole that might be it. I even looked on through the Dell stuff they sent me. I don’t think it has one. Meanwhile, Skype is bleeping away.
“Well you know,” my husband says, “A laptop that new, it’s probably got a built in mic.”
I answer the call. Yes, my laptop has a built in mic. Okay, I’m a dope.
So even if it’s “dead simple”, even if it’s “built in” for crying out loud, for some of us that just isn’t enough.
GrandCentral works like a charm forwarding to my Gizmo number. I am also lucky enough to be one of the first to beta test a Canadian GrandCentral number, which means this service will be even more practical for me to use. I’ve been wanting a local number for awhile; Gizmo only offers Canadian area codes in Manitoba and Ontario. Skype offers none at all.
So when you call my GrandCentral number (778-785-6755), I’ve set up GC to forward to Gizmo. What I haven’t quite figured out yet is the voicemail. My Gizmo calls that are ignored/unanswered are bumping to GrandCentral voicemail, which is fine. However, I also have Gizmo voicemail activated, so I get an email and WAV file from Gizmo with nothing “in” it so to speak.
I think this a little bit of the untidiness you see when one app is not fully intergrated with another. See Alec’s post. For more reviews on GrandCentral and Gizmo, see Andy, Garrett Smith, Ken Camp, and Paul Kaputska.
On the weekend, my husband had an important long distance call with a client. Downstairs, PhoneGnome had husband talking to the UK over VOIP using Gizmo credits. Upstairs, PhoneGnome had son talking local to his buddies. So easy. And we didn’t even realize that the whole thing panned out problem free until much later…no dropped calls or weird noises, and a whole dollar’s worth of Gizmo call out credits consumed. This is how VOIP should work…totally transparent.
You’ve seen a few posts already announcing SightSpeed’s Peter Zottolo debut as DirectTV host for Fizz Newzz. Personally, I think that anyone who can move his or her eyebrows independantly of one another (and in complete control) deserves a shot, so way to go SightSpeed Guy. And how about a company (SightSpeed) that actually pays their employees to come up with this stuff!
Ted Wallingford cites his favourite SightSpeed Guy moment. I like the freestyle dance routine for Halloween (c’mon Sightspeed Guy, give us the link for that one!)
I noticed when I opened Fring the other day on my Nokia N80i, that “poof” MSN Messenger is available alongside Skype and GoogleTalk for making VOIP calls. Cool. Luca in this week’s news roundup summarizes all the new features available in this release. He likes Fring, and I do too. Easy to install (which is kind of my pet peeve) and easy to use.
Katie Fehrenbacher at GigOm has a good summary of what’s going on at the big mobile conference in Barcelona 3GSM. She picks the top stories from the big players and notes that entertainment and content providers are new trends getting some notice. Check it out. Phoneboy finally also gets to add his two cents about the Nokia phones launched at 3GSM. His fave… the E90 Communicator.
Don’t you get that feeling? Andy Abramson lists his six reasons why Cisco and Apple will play nicely together in the end. He’s probably right. Hey, maybe I hope he’s right…a Linksys box that plays iTunes? Hmmmm. I think those execs must get a kick out of everyone getting in a lather over this.
Over at Digital Media Update, Sightspeed’s Peter Csathy blogs about a deal inked between Google/YouTube and Digital Music Group Inc. DMGI will supply YouTube with a bzillion hours worth of classic TV shows and video content and YouTube will, of course, make their money back through advertising on the “watch” pages associated with the DMGI content. Peter says this is a deal that will be closely watched by all major content providers and distributors. Could movies, music, and prime time be in our not too distant future? Show us the money!