Blog - Gruveo

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!

An Apology to Our French Users

French flag heartTomorrow, 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 iOS App: What’s Inside

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!

It’s Official: Gruveo for iOS Landing Next Week!

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!