Art, Author at Gruveo - Page 3 of 9

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Gruveo for Android – What Are The Features?

There is not long to go until the official launch of the Gruveo Android app on June 7. So what’s in the package?

Look ma, no browser! Make video and voice calls with Gruveo without having to launch a browser on your Android device.

100% compatible. Call Gruveo users on desktop, iOS and Android.

Background mode. Easily switch to a different app while remaining on your Gruveo call.

Text chat. Send and receive text messages, complete with our cool smileys.

Switchable sound output. Make Gruveo use your phone speaker, headset, or the loudspeaker.

Push notifications. Receive a notification when the other person joins the call, so no waiting around!

Look out for more updates in the coming days 🙂

Gruveo App for Android Coming Next Week!

Android 7th June

You may have heard that something very exciting is coming…the Gruveo Android app! We can finally reveal that the launch date is Tuesday 7th June…just one short week away.

Our Android users can already make Gruveo calls via their browser. This option will still be available but soon you will have the added convenience of a native app too!

Want to be alerted to the Android app launch? Sign up for our newsletter here to receive all the Gruveo breaking news:

iOS App Update Has Landed!

It’s finally here! The updated version of the Gruveo app is now officially live!

Probably our most useful new feature is push notifications which alert you when the other party joins the call (allowing you to check social media or the football results while you wait…)

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So when you update the app which other new features can you look forward to?

  • Automatic emoticon replacement in text chat
  • Swipe to show and hide the chat box
  • New call timer
  • Chat in the sidebar on iPad in landscape mode
  • New semi-transparent control bar
  • New visible system status bar (allows you to still see the time and battery level)
  • Screen optimizations for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
  • Ability to drag your own picture
  • Send or share the Gruveo call link right from your call waiting screen

Enjoy the new functions and let us know here if you have any ideas or suggestions for our next update.

Don’t have the iOS app? Download it here:

Download Gruveo for iOS

Is WebRTC the Future of Video Conferencing?

webrtc-logo-vert-retro-255x305WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications) is an open source technology which allows two browsers to connect natively for peer-to-peer video and audio calls. Calling is possible without needing to download any additional software or install plugins…straight from your browser!

Where did WebRTC come from? In May 2011 an open source project was released by Google. With massive help from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) there was ongoing work to standardize protocols and improve browser APIs.                                               Progress is still being made today.

The fact that WebRTC offers JavaScript APIs means it can be fully integrated into web apps, enabling a variety of functionalities to be possible. WebRTC can also be used on mobile devices, either via an app or directly via the browser on Android phones.

So how does it work? WebRTC works peer-to-peer, meaning that it isn’t necessary for the signal to be relayed via a server. Call quality is often far superior to some previous solutions, where servers can be positioned in far-flung locations, leading to lag. WebRTC providers package this technology into easy-to-use systems which intelligently determine how to best stream (and relay, if necessary) the media from one user to the other, optimizing call quality and limiting latency.

There are several key benefits of using WebRTC over previous solutions for video conferencing:

Security

A rising concern in business, a high level of security is often top of the list when IT departments are considering new software. In WebRTC it is impossible to have an unencrypted call. Even if a TURN server is required to relay the media stream, calls still remain encrypted end-to-end.

If an even higher level of control is required it is also possible to have a system using WebRTC installed directly on the company servers, operating within your own firewall. This enables both security and ease of use within a company and is ideal if you operate from more than one site.

Improved Call Quality

As discussed before, you will probably find the call quality with a WebRTC-based platform superior, especially if you are calling a location not very geographically far away. This is because peer-to-peer technology operates directly from your computer or phone to the person you are calling. If there are any problems relaying the call, that’s when the TURN servers spring into action. Due to providers often having numerous servers in different locations around the world, call quality is generally well maintained.

Ease of Use

If you have ever used a WebRTC-based app, one thing you may notice is how surprisingly easy it is to use. You don’t need to install anything…you can use it straight out the box. And it can be as simple as pressing the call button and sending a link or code over to the other party for almost instant video conferencing.

This ease of use makes WebRTC perfect for the workplace, general calls with technophobic friends and family, or integrating into a website for easy use for customers or clients.

Versatility

Due to the benefits and ease of use, there are many situations where a WebRTC-based app is the perfect solution for a company:

Example 1: Intra-Company Video Conferencing

I’m sure you’re aware of the benefits of video conferencing. WebRTC is unlike many previous solutions as no installs are required. This makes video calling both easily accessible and universally available for your co-workers.

A WebRTC-based app can be installed on your company intranet. This allows instant calls within a company and is perfect for departments such as HR to easily chat to colleagues, especially those at different sites.

Example 2: Talk to Customers via Your Webpage

A WebRTC app can also be used directly from your company website. This is a great customer service solution and more personable than a phone call. If you need to talk to external clients it’s also a professional way to host a video call, especially if the app can be company branded.

Example 3: Video Conferencing On the Go

As more and more companies operate with staff in the field or based at home, video conferencing is a great way for teams to keep in touch. WebRTC-based apps can be used via 3G networks on tablets and smartphones for access wherever you go.

So is WebRTC the future of video conferencing? With all the benefits of this technology it certainly seems that way. It is predicted that it will be available on 6 billion devices by the end of 2019, so chances are you are going to be hearing a lot about WebRTC over the next few years. With the variety of ways this technology can be utilized it is quite certain that video conferencing will be used even more extensively in companies all over the world.

Gruveo Business uses WebRTC technology to deliver the ideal solution for video conferencing. Want to find out more? Visit our Business site here.

How Renaissance Rentals Uses Gruveo for Live Property Video Tours

rritshomEric Dainton is the General Manager of Renaissance Rentals, a property management company based in Bloomington, Indiana. They own and manage around 750 apartments in the area, best known as home to one of the Big Ten schools, Indiana University.

One of Eric’s favorite roles within the company is marketing and finding ways to better reach prospective customers. Thanks to the company’s progressive and customer-focused nature they decided to launch a live video tour option. As many people viewing properties are unable to visit Bloomington before making a housing decision, it seemed the closest alternative to make prospective residents feel confident in their housing choice.

The search for an ideal video call solution took some time. Eric’s main consideration was that the application needed to be easy to use, something important for both staff and property viewers. Closely behind that was a universal solution, something that everyone could have access to. Eric said he considered many options including FaceTime, Google Hangouts and Skype, amongst others. However, in the end he found Gruveo to be the ideal solution for three key reasons:

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Gruveo API Developer Update

We have been busy at Gruveo HQ making some important changes to our APR. What's new?

Languages

We have added 6 more languages: Chinese (Simplified), Czech, Dutch, Finnish, Japanese and Korean. These have been added to the language embed parameter which sets the language of the Gruveo embed on your page. More languages will be on the way, feel free to suggest one!

New API Events

Although the API has been doing a great job telling the host page what has been happening with the embed, sometimes it was hard to link those events to actual user actions. We have now fixed this by providing the following events that the API can fire: callInit, busy, hangup.

Restricting to a Certain Code

We have altered the code embed parameter (which pre-populated the code in the embed) to now make the code field read-only. This is ideal if you want your Gruveo embed to be restricted to a certain code.

Mute/Unmute

The toggleVideo() and toggleAudio() API methods now let you programmatically mute/unmute the user’s camera and/or microphone in the Gruveo embed. The new streamStateChange API event also tells your page whenever the camera and/or microphone are muted or unmuted in the embed.

For more details check out the changelogs here and here.

Keep an eye out for more updates coming soon!

3 Video Conferencing Nightmares for an IT Department…(And How to Fix Them)

VC Nightmares

You get a new app or system for the company, you go through the installation and user training. It’s ready to be used by everyone.

And you know – you just KNOW with absolute certainty, that this new tech is going to unleash a flood of daily support ticket requests. They will range from the most basic questions about how to turn it on to more complex ones.

That is exactly the case with video conferencing.

Today, video conferencing is a fact of business life. It is a must-have strategic tool that is quickly finding its way into every conference room and office.

Of course that means more support requests. Many more.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We have prepared a free “10 Point Video Conferencing User Guide Checklist” that you can download and distribute to all users, no matter what solution you use. It will definitely help minimize the flow of tickets you have to deal with.

Type your email below to get instant access:

[optin_box style=”10″ alignment=”center” disable_name=”Y” email_field=”email” email_default=”Enter your email address” integration_type=”activecampaign” double_optin=”Y” signup_form_id=”17″ thank_you_page=”https://about.gruveo.com/business/gruveo-demo-it/” list=”1″ name_field=”first_name” name_default=”Enter your first name” name_required=”Y” opm_packages=””][optin_box_field name=”headline”]Here’s The Headline For The Box[/optin_box_field][optin_box_field name=”paragraph”]PHA+TG9yZW0gaXBzdW0gZG9sb3Igc2l0IGFtZXQsIGNvbnNlY3RldHVyIGFkaXBpc2NpbmcgZWxpdC4gRG9uZWMgdmVsIG51bmMgbm9uIGxhY3VzIHZlbmVuYXRpcyBjb21tb2RvLjwvcD4K[/optin_box_field][optin_box_field name=”top_color”]undefined[/optin_box_field][optin_box_button type=”0″ button_below=”Y”]Get Instant Access[/optin_box_button] [/optin_box]

The following is a list of some of the most common problems we hear about and what you can do about them in your organization.

  1. “Murphy’s Glitch” – You’ve heard of Murphy’s law? If something CAN go wrong it probably WILL go wrong? Well, Murphy’s Glitch states that if something can glitch during your video conferencing session, it likely will glitch.

The list of potential glitches is long. It includes connectivity issues, setup problems, and audio and visual breakdowns.

Solution: Recommend that users spend 5-10 minutes before their scheduled video conference to fire up the system, check its performance and ensure they know their way around.

Additionally, they should schedule an extra 5 minutes into the beginning of their live session to work out any problems they may experience once the session begins. That way, if glitches do arise and time is spent fixing them, the time won’t feel wasted.

  1. What came first? The Non-intuitive User Interface or the Clueless Users?

Too many video conferencing solutions are counterintuitive and deliver aggravatingly complicated user experiences.

It is not uncommon for many video conferencing users to not even know how to start a video session. And when they do, they often become overwhelmed by all of the (unnecessary secondary) features.

Additionally, the average user is typically uninformed about important “under-the-hood” technology issues, including bandwidth and CPU, which directly impact session quality.

Solution: Train people on the core elements of the system.

But one-time is not enough.

The training needs to be ongoing. Not everyone uses video conferencing all of the time. So if there is a lag between the time someone is trained and the time they actually use the system, he or she will likely forget how to use it and may then avoid using it altogether (leading to another common problem – adoptability).

It is helpful to have ongoing training in the form of webinars, videos, and an easy-to-follow 1-page cheat sheet, which should all be saved in one shared location.

  1. Lagging or Dropped Audio – one of the biggest annoyances during a videoconferencing session is glitchy, delayed or dropped audio.

It is a session breaker.

Unbeknownst to many, a prime culprit of this is their computer’s system resources such as CPU, RAM and bandwidth. Your average employee has no idea what that even is.

But if the system resources begin to get consumed – say by a bloated antivirus suite – a smooth video session can suddenly break down and turn into a ni…g..h……t..ma…..re.

Solution: Choose an antivirus suite for your company that’s easier on the machine’s resources. If you can’t, at least let your users know that the antivirus software can impede the connection. Additionally, tell them to close all unnecessary applications and browser tabs to free up as much CPU and RAM as possible.

Those are just 3 common problems that can end up building up in your support ticket queue.

As you can see, primary antidote to these problems is education. Provide your users with lots of video tutorials, recorded webinars, FAQs, and cheat sheets all stored in a single location such as your company’s Google Drive.

We have prepared a free “10 Point Video Conferencing User Guide Checklist” that you can download and distribute to all users, no matter what solution you use. It will definitely help minimize the flow of tickets you have to deal with.

Type your email below to get instant access:

[optin_box style=”10″ alignment=”center” disable_name=”Y” email_field=”email” email_default=”Enter your email address” integration_type=”activecampaign” double_optin=”Y” signup_form_id=”17″ thank_you_page=”https://about.gruveo.com/business/gruveo-demo-it/” list=”1″ name_field=”first_name” name_default=”Enter your first name” name_required=”Y” opm_packages=””][optin_box_field name=”headline”]Here’s The Headline For The Box[/optin_box_field][optin_box_field name=”paragraph”]PHA+TG9yZW0gaXBzdW0gZG9sb3Igc2l0IGFtZXQsIGNvbnNlY3RldHVyIGFkaXBpc2NpbmcgZWxpdC4gRG9uZWMgdmVsIG51bmMgbm9uIGxhY3VzIHZlbmVuYXRpcyBjb21tb2RvLjwvcD4K[/optin_box_field][optin_box_field name=”top_color”]undefined[/optin_box_field][optin_box_button type=”0″ button_below=”Y”]Get Instant Access[/optin_box_button] [/optin_box]

Gruveo Links are Getting Easier to Remember…

Gruveo code banner

Good News!

There is now no need to remember the # if you are manually typing the link to your Gruveo call (unless you really want to add it, in which case it will still work).

Here’s to making things even easier!

Gruveo iOS Update…What’s Coming?

You may have heard the exciting news that push notifications are coming to our iOS app…but what else is planned?

Text Chat Improvements

If your voice needs a break we are making text chat even better! You will be able to swipe to show and hide the chat box, and if you are an iPad user you will be able to chat in the sidebar instead of full screen. Automatic emoticon replacement is also coming 😉

User Interface Facelift

We are making the app look even prettier with a cool new semi-transparent controlbar. You will also always be able to see the time and how much battery you have left thanks to the visible system status bar. If you have an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus you may also notice we are now optimized specially for your screen.

Miscellaneous

Wondering how long you have been in a call? Wonder no more with our new call timer! You will also be able to drag your own picture and handily send or share the Gruveo call link right from your call waiting screen.

All this is coming very soon, watch this space!