Art, Author at Gruveo

All posts by Art

Test Drive Gruveo with Zapier

We have been working on developing Gruveo to work with Zapier and invite you to take it for a test drive. Zapier is an online automation tool that connects hundreds of apps, such as Slack, MailChimp, Calendly, and now Gruveo. You can automate repetitive tasks without coding or developers and it’s easy enough that anyone can build their own app workflows with just a few clicks.

The new integration provides you with a Zapier action to create a new Gruveo call room and get its name and URL. While very simple, this integration makes truly powerful workflows possible – for example, automatically creating a Gruveo room for your Calendly appointments and emailing the link to the invitee.

Zapier requires all new integrations to start in an invite-only test mode. To get your invite for Gruveo, simply shoot us a message:

Request Your Zapier Integration Invite

 

Developer Alert: Updating the Static Embed Code for Chrome 64

The recently released Chrome 64 brought an important change whereby by default, camera and microphone permissions cannot be requested in cross-origin iframes such as the Gruveo embed. If you are using static HTML <iframe> code to embed Gruveo on your website, it is important to make sure that it includes the allow="microphone; camera" attribute as specified in our developer documentation. Otherwise, the Gruveo embed will be failing with the “Cannot access camera and/or microphone” message.

If you embed Gruveo using JavaScript, you don’t need to do anything because our JavaScript API inserts the allow attribute automatically.

We recommend using JavaScript to embed Gruveo to ensure that the latest compatible code is always used. If you are still using the static HTML method, now may be a good time to switch to the JavaScript approach instead. You can find the details in our API docs.

New Feature: Add Callers to Your Ongoing Gruveo Call

If you use Gruveo often (we hope you do!), you probably want to be alerted of any incoming calls even while you are on a call with someone else. Additionally, you should be able to add new callers right to the ongoing call, without having to use a room for such impromptu group conversations. Well, starting today, you can do both.

Get Alerts for Parallel Incoming Calls

Whenever you have an ongoing Gruveo conversation and a new call on your Gruveo link comes in, you will now get an alert like the one shown below.

A special alert will notify you of a parallel incoming call (Gruveo web app only).

The alert will give you two options:

  • Add the caller to your ongoing call
  • Decline the incoming call.

You can also hang up your ongoing call, in which case you will be taken to the incoming call screen for the caller who’s trying to reach you.

Another Easy Way to Create Group Conversations

The call notification feature provides a new easy way to create group calls on Gruveo. Instead of organizing your group call in a call room, or sharing the one-time join URL for an ongoing call on your Gruveo link, do the following:

  1. Tell all call participants to follow your Gruveo link (grv.to/@myhandle) on the agreed upon time
  2. Take the first call that comes in
  3. Add any subsequent callers to the ongoing call.

It’s really that simple!

Available in the Gruveo Web App Today

The new call notification feature is currently available in the Gruveo web app on www.gruveo.com. We are working on bringing it to our Android and iOS apps, too. Meanwhile, here’s to even fewer missed calls and a new easy way to create group conversations on Gruveo!

Gruveo Subscription Is Now 40% Off, Important Changes Coming on January 25

We have prepared some important changes to the Gruveo subscription pricing as well as to how free Gruveo calls are handled.

The Gruveo Subscription Is Now 40% Off

Over the past several weeks, we have been hard at work optimizing our server infrastructure to bring the costs down. This work is finally bearing fruit and we are happy to be able to pass the savings on to our subscribers. Effective immediately, we are slashing 40% off the Gruveo monthly subscription price.

If you already are a Gruveo subscriber, you can take advantage of the new pricing while keeping your Gruveo account. All you need to do is cancel your existing subscription and then reactivate it after the end of your billing cycle at the new price. See this article for details.

New Rules for Free Calls Starting January 25

Along with making the subscription even more affordable, we are also introducing important changes to the free usage of Gruveo.

Up till now, all one-on-one calls on Gruveo have been free and unlimited. At the same time, group calls have been automatically disconnected after 10 minutes unless a Gruveo subscriber joined the call. To reduce the confusion and let users experience Gruveo’s high-quality group calling better, we are introducing a unified 20-minute limit to all free calls. (A free call is a call with no logged in Gruveo subscribers on it.) The new limit will kick in on January 25.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The new approach means that you will be able to enjoy Gruveo calls up to 20 minutes long with up to 12 people absolutely free of charge and without the need for an account.
  • After your free call is automatically disconnected, you will be able to recreate it immediately for an unlimited number of times.
  • If you are a Gruveo subscriber, just make sure you are logged in while joining your calls. That will lift the 20-minute free call limit as well as enable your other premium features.
  • If you have been relying on Gruveo’s free calling to connect your website’s or app’s users, take a look at the Gruveo API, which we have available specifically for such integration cases.

We believe that the new subscription pricing as well as the free calling rules will make Gruveo more understandable and affordable. To start your free 14-day Gruveo trial, click here.

Announcing Caller Blocking and Chat History Emailing

We are excited to announce two new features that have just been added to Gruveo: caller blocking and chat history emailing.

Caller Blocking

Caller blocking is a new feature that lets you block callers from specific countries. One piece of feedback that we regularly hear from our users is that they sometimes get unwanted or mistaken calls from abroad. The issue is especially pronounced for owners of popular and easy-to-guess @handles.

With the new caller blocking feature, you can now block callers from unwanted countries with a couple of clicks. Here’s how:

  1. Head to the new Caller Blocking page in your account on the Gruveo website.
  2. Choose a country to block from the drop-down list and click “Add”.
  3. Repeat for any other countries that you want to block calls from.
  4. Click “Save changes”.

Done! You will no longer receive rings or missed call notifications for calls from the selected countries. Note that the callers will still be able to leave you a message if you have the Text Mail feature enabled.

Caller blocking lets you easily block unwanted calls from specific countries.

Chat History Emailing

Another piece of user feedback that we are addressing with the latest update is the ability to preserve the history of your in-call text chats. With this feature, the chat history is emailed to you immediately after each Gruveo call. No more worrying about losing that link or piece of important text pasted into the text chat!

For privacy reasons, chat history emailing is not enabled by default. Here is how to enable it:

  1. Go to your account’s Notifications and Messages section on the Gruveo website.
  2. Check the checkbox that says “Receive chat history for every call via email”.
  3. Click “Save changes”.

Chat history emailing lets you receive chat logs for your Gruveo calls straight to your email inbox.

We hope you are as excited about caller blocking and chat history emailing as we are. These new features are available to all Gruveo subscribers immediately. If you are not yet a subscriber, start your free 14-day trial today:

Start Your Free Trial

Improvements to the Gruveo Experience on iOS

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been really busy improving the Gruveo call experience on iOS – both in Safari as well as the Gruveo app.

The Gruveo app for iOS now supports automatic call reconnection. If your Internet connection drops mid-call, the app will now try really hard to reconnect the call instead of ending it. We first introduced this advanced reconnection functionality in our web app, and now it’s present in all of the Gruveo apps out there, including the Android one.

The Gruveo web application has seen a nasty bug fixed where the whole device would freeze during a video call in Safari on iOS 11. Now the Gruveo experience in iOS 11 Safari is as smooth as ever.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Announcing the New Gruveo Subscription

Ever since launching in 2013, Gruveo has been all about making it really simple for people to connect to each other. We began by enabling any two people to start a video or voice call simply by popping into the same Gruveo room – no account or installs needed. And last year, we added Gruveo handles – permanent usernames that work like phone numbers and let others call you anytime, anywhere.

Starting today, we are making handles the defining feature of Gruveo. With this, we are putting handles front and center in Gruveo’s value proposition as a tool for businesses to let their customers get in touch in an easy, secure and feature-rich way.

A Magic Call Link for Customers to Reach You

A Gruveo handle is a truly magical thing. Every handle comes with a short link, e.g. grv.to/@myhandle, which, when clicked, starts a call with you right in the caller’s browser. No account or installs are needed, even on mobile!

Here is what makes Gruveo handles so great:

  • No signups. No new apps. Just click a link. Gruveo runs right in the caller’s browser, without annoying plugins or app installs.
  • Works everywhere it matters. Thanks to the WebRTC technology built into modern browsers, Gruveo video and voice calling works out of the box.
  • Video, voice and screen sharing calls. Get face-to-face with a sales lead, collaborate on a document, or have a simple voice call with a customer.
  • Features you need, when you need them. Enjoy group calling, HD call recording, in-call text chat and much more.
  • Answer your calls anywhere. Use your computer or take Gruveo on the go with our acclaimed mobile apps.
  • Your call, your branding. Reinforce your brand by putting your logo and a custom background on your call screen with ease.

The New Gruveo Subscription

Handles become part of the new Gruveo subscription, which is available immediately and comes with a risk-free 14-day trial. As a Gruveo subscriber, you can:

  • Receive incoming calls on your short link, e.g. grv.to/@mybusiness
  • Enjoy video, voice and screen sharing calls
  • Send and receive text messages during a call
  • Participate in group conversations with up to 12 participants
  • Toggle cloud call recording with 2GB of recording space
  • Join call rooms for quick, one-time calls
  • Call other Gruveo handles
  • Let callers leave you a text message
  • Get extended information about callers
  • …and more.

You can cancel your Gruveo subscription anytime, and if you do, you will be able to access your account for another 14 days to save your content.

What About the Existing Users?

We are no longer offering Gruveo Pro to new customers, but if you are an existing Pro user, you can continue enjoying your subscription without changes. Actually, there is one change: Now you can organize group calls with 12 participants instead of 8!

If you are a free registered user with a Gruveo handle, you will continue receiving calls on your handle as before. You can switch to the new Gruveo subscription anytime, too, but please be advised that you will not be able to keep your handle if you cancel.

Finally, if you don’t have a Gruveo account, you can call handles, join call rooms and have unlimited one-on-one conversations on Gruveo just like you did before.

Try It Today

We are convinced that you will like the new Gruveo subscription. To start your risk-free 14-day trial, click here.

iOS App Connection Issues

The latest version of our iOS app (2.5.1) introduced support for hardware video acceleration, which means drastically better performance and battery efficiency. Unfortunately, this version also introduced a bug which prevents the app from establishing a connection under certain circumstances, in particular when using Gruveo over 3G/4G.

We have fixed the bug and submitted version 2.5.2 of the app to App Store for review. Based on our past experience with the App Store review process, the update should become available within 1 to 3 days.

Thank you for using Gruveo and we are very sorry for any inconvenience this could have caused. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions.

Important Changes to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions

As Gruveo continues growing in popularity, it is inevitable that our core promise of secure and anonymous video calling may begin to attract some users with, let’s say, questionable intentions. With this in mind, we feel that it’s important for us to be even clearer on our privacy practices, as well as to state our stance on any illegal activities involving Gruveo.

It has long been stated in Article 6 of our Terms and Conditions that any illegal use of Gruveo will be investigated. Today, we are making it crystal clear by adding the language that reserves our right to cooperate with appropriate law enforcement agencies about any illegal activities conducted via Gruveo.

Our anonymity promise remains unaffected. In fact, we have updated our Privacy Policy to provide better details on our logging practices, as well as on our usage of analytics services, e.g. the employment of IP address anonymization in Google Analytics.

Our goal with Gruveo is a safe place for your communications that also respects your privacy. We feel that today’s changes bring us closer to that goal.

The new Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions are effective immediately. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Introducing Text Mail

Heads up direct code users! Now you can capture your callers’ info even if you are busy or unavailable. Thanks to our new Text Mail feature, callers can now leave you a message that will arrive straight to your email inbox. Here is what it looks like:

Leaving a Text Message

Text mail is on by default but you can turn it off any time by logging in, going to Settings and unchecking the checkbox that says “Allow callers to leave a message when you are busy or unavailable”.

Leaving a text message is currently supported in the Gruveo web app, with support in the Android and iOS apps coming soon.

Enjoy, and never lose that important call again!

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