This week, we have rolled out an update to the Gruveo web client that makes better use of the screen space on larger displays. Before the update, the maximum width of the call area was just 960 pixels, which looks really tiny on a large screen. The only other choice you had was to go fullscreen, leaving you no middle ground. Not anymore!
We now bring a new screen mode to Gruveo that is optimized for browser widths of 1240 pixels and more. In this new mode, the picture of the other person is bigger by 54% and the chat area is bigger by 65%. This means that you can see the other person better and read more messages at once.
Check out this side-by-side comparison (click image to enlarge):
Have fun on Gruveo, and remember that we love you no matter the size of your display!
The Gruveo iOS app was launched just two days ago, and we already have so many news to share.
First, the story about Gruveo hitting iOS was published by TechCrunch, which immediately sent ripples all over the Internet. Thank you guys!
Next, since its release, the Gruveo app has been downloaded in 70 countries all over the world. People from 51 countries have already used Gruveo to make calls on their iOS device.
Over the past day, 32% of all calls on Gruveo were made using the iOS app, and we expect the growth of the app’s share to continue.
And finally, a great many people have discovered Gruveo for the first time over these days. Here is what some of them had to say:
— Aled Evans (@4L3D) October 15, 2014
Nice way to make anonymous video calls over the web – https://t.co/ZtzDjb41aN
— Cocoy Claravall (@WheatgrassMan) October 15, 2014
— 李 (@LeBondAZ) October 16, 2014
— Juan Pablo Bustos (@bustosjp) October 16, 2014
— Anushka Jayawardana (@anushka_j) October 16, 2014
— Cuurio (@Cuurio) October 15, 2014
We are humbled and honored by this feedback and are super charged to continue bringing our easy, secure video calls to people across the globe.
Thank you for being a part of it!
Our shiny new iOS app is finally here! Now you can make the world’s easiest video calls on your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Download Gruveo for iOS right now:
As before, all you need to make a secure and anonymous video call is agree with the other person on a code and enter it in the app. Gruveo for iOS seamlessly connects with the browser application so you can talk to your friends on desktop and Android, not to mention other iOS users!
And here’s the kicker: Once you have the app installed on your iOS device, all Gruveo call links (such as https://about.gruveo.com/#banana31) will be automatically opening the Gruveo app for you. How cool is that?
We worked hard to bring Gruveo to your iPhone, iPad or iPad touch, and we need your help. Please take a moment and rate the Gruveo app in the App Store! It will make us all very happy 🙂
Here is the link once again: Click here for the Gruveo iOS app
Tomorrow, on October 14, the Gruveo app for iOS goes live. We couldn’t have been happier if not for one thing: The app will not be available in the French App Store at launch.
As we mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, France has very strict laws for importing encryption products. Gruveo is no doubt such a product because it encrypts all of your calls. Unfortunately, getting the permission from the French government to release the app in France is a lengthy and time consuming process, with no time frame guarantees.
Ironically, France is Gruveo’s 5th biggest market, with almost 7% of the past month’s calls having been made by our French users. We are thus very motivated to make the iOS app available in France as soon as possible. It’s just that it won’t happen tomorrow, and we are very sorry for that.
The Gruveo app for iOS goes live in just 5 days, and, as promised in the previous post, here are some highlights of the app’s features and capabilities.
Seamless operation with the web app. Easily call anyone, no matter if they use the iOS app or access Gruveo in their browser.
Mute camera/microphone. Don’t want the other person to see or hear you? Use the app’s mute buttons to mute your camera or mic.
Background mode. Easily switch to a different app while on a Gruveo call. You will still be heard and hear the other person, too.
Text chat. Send and receive text messages during a call, no matter what Gruveo client the other person uses.
Switch to/from loudspeaker. Make Gruveo use your phone speaker or headset, or force the audio output to the loudspeaker – it’s your call.
Works on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The single Gruveo app works on multiple types of Apple’s mobile devices.
iOS 6 friendly. No need to upgrade if you are still on iOS 6! Gruveo works on iOS 6 – all the way up to iOS 8.
We hope that this gives you a good overview of what you can expect next Tuesday. And if you have any other questions regarding the upcoming Gruveo iOS app, just ask in the comments below!
Update October 9: Click here to learn about the key features of the upcoming iOS app.
It has been a long, long wait but now it’s finally over. This past Friday, we have received that coveted email from Apple saying that the Gruveo app’s status has been changed to “Ready for Sale.” In plain English, this means that we can finally release Gruveo for iOS!
We need about a week to ensure that all our systems are 100% ready for the launch (including the inevitable spike in traffic), so we decided to set the release date to Tuesday, October 14. That’s just 8 days from today.
After spending a total of 5.5 weeks in the App Store’s review limbo, we are super-excited to be releasing the app… and we hope you are just as excited to finally be able to use Gruveo on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
In a few days’ time, we’ll be previewing some of the app’s features and capabilities, so hold tight!
We have submitted the Gruveo iOS app to App Store almost a month ago, and, frankly, we expected it to be live for a while by now.
Well, things haven’t quite worked out that way. To start with, the approval process for that first version took full 21 days, which is extraordinary even by the App Store standards.
And then, our app got rejected because of a tiny crash that we had overlooked.
Fortunately, our beta testers made us aware of the crash ahead of Apple so we lost minimal time fixing the bug and resubmitting the app. We resubmitted last week and are now anxiously awaiting that “Ready for Sale” status! (Don’t worry, the app will be free, it’s just how Apple puts it.)
On the bright side of things, the App Store approval delay gave us enough time to make sure that Gruveo works perfectly on the new iOS 8 and looks just as great on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
We have also spent some time improving our web app. In particular, there was a pesky bug with camera muting under certain conditions in a call between Chrome and Firefox. It’s fixed now.
Finally, Gruveo got its first mention on Forbes last week, which makes us super-excited!
We hope to be able to share more good news very soon 😉 Thank you for using Gruveo and stay tuned!
As promised, here are some screenshots of the upcoming Gruveo app for iOS. The app is still undergoing review but we hope to be able to announce the release date very soon. Enjoy!
Good news! We have submitted the Gruveo iOS app to the App Store this weekend, and it is currently awaiting review. Fingers crossed for a speedy approval!
If there is one thing we learned during the submission process, it is that governments take encryption pretty seriously. Due to Gruveo encrypting all of your calls, we actually had to apply for a permission from the US government to make the app available worldwide. (This is because the app will reside on Apple’s US servers, and whenever someone downloads it from abroad, “export of encryption technology” will take place.) Thankfully, we managed to get the permission very quickly.
Things turned out to be different with the French government. France has very stringent laws for importing encryption products. Making an encryption-related app available in France involves mailing quite a bit of paperwork around (in French), and then waiting one to four months for authorization.
Unfortunately, this means that the Gruveo iOS app will not be available in the French App Store at launch. We will do everything possible to release it in France as soon as possible though.
Be on a lookout for the first screenshots of our shiny new iOS app!
Gruveo codes have been numeric ever since we launched the service last year. The main reason was that we felt there was a smaller chance for error when you had to tell someone a Gruveo code verbally.
However, we quickly discovered that there were issues with numeric codes. First, they are hard to remember. Second, they carry no emotional charge, which further contributes to problem #1. And third, lots of new Gruveo users confuse them with telephone numbers that they can somehow “dial”.
Today, we are addressing these issues by allowing Gruveo codes to contain letters as well as numbers. This means that instead of using a faceless “10910” for a call with your friend Joe, you can go for “joe79”, “joesmith” or even “justchillin” as your code.
The new Gruveo codes may contain letters but they don’t have to. So if all-numeric codes is what you are used to, there is no need to change anything.
Gruveo us on #funkybanana, anyone? 🙂