Blog - Gruveo

Gruveo Comes to Internet Explorer and Safari on Desktop

Internet Explorer and SafariLast summer, Gruveo had to drop support of desktop Internet Explorer and Safari due to switching to the new WebRTC technology. We’ve been longing to bring Gruveo back to our IE and Safari users ever since, and we are happy to announce that we are doing it today.

Gruveo now works in IE 10+ and Safari 7+ on desktop with the help of the excellent Temasys WebRTC plugin. The plugin is a free, quick install for Windows and Mac OS X that enables the WebRTC functionality in IE and Safari. Gruveo will prompt you to install the plugin if you try to make a call in one of those browsers, and we also provide a detailed installation guide.

The WebRTC plugin comes from a trusted source: Temasys is a Singapore-based company that is part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards committee and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) working group that are actually defining the WebRTC technology itself.

Once the plugin is installed, Gruveo “just works”, enabling effortless video conversations with other Gruveo users no matter what platform they are on.

There are a few known issues to Gruveo operation in IE and Safari, the status of which you can find here.

Safari and Internet Explorer, we are happy to have you back!

Enjoy Gruveo in Your Language

Great news for our international users: Gruveo is now available in 7 languages in addition to English. The new languages are French, German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish (Latin America), and Ukrainian.

The language is detected automatically but you can always switch it using the select box in the bottom of the page. Translations for our iOS app are coming soon, too.

Here’s to squashing language barriers with Gruveo!

Gruveo for iOS Gets Updated with Camera Switching, Stability Improvements

We have received lots of feedback after launching the Gruveo iOS app in October, and we have been hard at work incorporating your suggestions. The result is version 1.1 of the Gruveo app that landed in the App Store today.

The 1.1 update features massive improvements to stability and performance, adds important features and squashes annoying bugs. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Front/back camera switching… At last!
  • Incoming calls no longer break audio in Gruveo
  • Video calls now properly begin on speakerphone on iPhone
  • Improved UI for switching back from the text chat
  • Massive improvements to app stability
  • A 64-bit build for even better performance on newer devices
  • A new help screen with more information and copyrights

Grab the Gruveo app for iOS today and enjoy these new features!

Do you like this update? What would you like to see next in the Gruveo iOS app? Post a comment below and let us know!

Better Chat Experience in Full Screen Mode

If you have ever used Gruveo in full screen mode, you have surely noticed that you could not text chat and see the other person at the same time. The chat panel was occupying the full screen so you had to be switching back and forth between your call and the chat.

While this makes sense on a smaller phone display, it doesn’t on a 27″ desktop monitor. So we set out to fix it, and we did – by placing the chat in a sidebar on larger screens. Here is what it looks like (click the image to enlarge):

Happy chatting!

Do you like this new feature? Are there any other areas we could improve in? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Announcing the Gruveo Embed Beta Program

One of the most common questions we’ve been receiving ever since Gruveo was launched is, “Can I add Gruveo to my site?” Well, we’re happy to announce that now you can!

Today, we are rolling out the Gruveo Embed Beta Program that enables your site’s visitors to make video calls without leaving your web property. Just put Gruveo on your site using a simple embed code (like you would embed a YouTube video), and you’re done.

The Gruveo Embed Program is currently a closed beta, which means that we approve individual applicants. To apply to the program, complete a short form over here:

Apply to the Gruveo Embed Beta Program

Looking forward to seeing Gruveo on your site!

Even Better Looks on Larger Displays

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!

Gruveo’s Anonymity a Big Win for Video Bookings at SimplyBook.me

Gruveo integration case study - SimplyBook.me logo

Gruveo is a perfect tool for anyone wishing to make a video call without becoming permanently accessible to the other person. Unlike other services where you add each other to “contacts,” others can only reach you on Gruveo if you explicitly agree on a call beforehand. One company to have recognized this advantage is SimplyBook.me, who recently announced their integration with Gruveo.

SimplyBook.me is a reservation engine that allows businesses to easily accept bookings online. The service provides its clients – who range from dentists to event planners to government agencies – with a fully customizable booking page where they can accept appointments, take payments, view performance reports and more. Launched in 2008, SimplyBook.me is now signing up thousands of new users every month.

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Gruveo Powers a Planetary Rover Prototype

Aurora Robotics' prototype for the 2015 RASC-AL Robo-Ops competition

Aurora Robotics’ prototype for the 2015 RASC-AL Robo-Ops competition

Gruveo seems to be finding its way into applications that we could never dream of. Just recently, we learned that an award-winning college robotics team uses Gruveo in their latest rover prototype.

Aurora Robotics is a 7-member team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In 2013, the team has advanced to the international finals of the NASA Lunabotics competition, successfully mining 13.5 Kg of dust during a ten-minute teleoperation run. In 2014, they won the Judges’ Innovation Award at the NASA Robotic Mining Competition, where the team impressed the jury with their robot’s compact stowed configuration.

The UAF team has just completed their Prototype Zero for the upcoming 2015 RASC-AL Robo-Ops competition. The challenge is to build a planetary rover prototype and demonstrate its capabilities to perform a series of competitive tasks in field tests. One of the requirements is providing a live video feed from the robot, and this is where the team decided to use Gruveo.

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Off to a Great Start

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:

 

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!

Introducing the Gruveo App for iOS

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:

Download Gruveo for iOS

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?

Oh, and There’s One More Thing…

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

Enjoy!