GrandCentral Becomes Google Voice!

It’s taken 21 months—almost two years—but GrandCentral (“One number for all your phones, for life”) has finally gotten an upgrade (and a new name). I’m totally excited, and happy that the long-awaited upgrade (previously known as GrandCentral 2.0) is finally here. Meet Google Voice: “One number for all your calls and SMS”. New Features Yes, Google Voice added several new features. One of the things that always, always bugged me about GrandCentral was the fact that my number couldn’t receive or send text messages. Well, now it can. According to TechCrunch’s expansive overview, the same technology that powers the SMS…

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Gmail Chat FAILs with Ping.fm GTalk Enabled

Image via CrunchBase Last night, I found a chat in my Gmail account that I’d never seen. It was sent an hour after I left the public library on February 26, while I was offline, but never showed up in my Inbox. It wasn’t even labeled as sent while I was offline. I was baffled completely until I realized this afternoon what I’d been doing that night at the library. February 26 (a Thursday, the day of #snowmageddon here in Minneapolis/St. Paul) was the day I discovered that Ping.fm—my very favorite social networking tool, second only to Twitter—had added support…

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Possible Rationale for Google Talk Labs Edition

Google Blogoscoped’s post about just came out early this morning, and it had an interesting idea in it. Philipp thinks Google might actually be using the new client as a desktop wrapper for the existing Google Talk Gadget, removing one version of the client that needs to be maintained while still providing a desktop feel for those users who want it. Philipp, your idea is very intriguing to me. In and of itself, it is quite insightful; the ramifications of it if true, though, wouldn’t make me happy. :-/ I have that Google would release an updated client including group…

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Google Talk Labs Edition?!

I know I’ve been for the Google Talk client (not the Gadget, not Gmail Chat; the actual application that one can download and install on a PC). I’ve been wondering for a long time if such an update would ever be issued. Yesterday, my question was answered. Yesterday, Google released Google Talk Labs Edition. It is most certainly not what I had in mind for an update. Far from improving existing features, the new release actually removes features. Specifically, voice chat and file transfers are gone in the Labs version. It adds group chat and enhanced emoticons like Gmail Chat…

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Google Talk Actually Not Dead

Ionut says he’s heard from a Google engineer that the downloadable Google Talk client will be updated sometime in the near future. We can expect a completely new version of the program, one that may (from screenshots posted on Google Operating System last year) include the ability to call phones. Supposedly that functionality has been available “since long” inside Google. There hasn’t been a Google Talk client update since it was upgraded to work with Windows Vista 14 months ago, and introduced in Gmail Chat and the Talk Gadget not being added to the client. With this news from Ionut,…

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Google Talk Adds “Chatback” Button Feature

It’s always been frustrating how you couldn’t have a Google Talk chat box on your website. Google changed that a couple days ago, when they announced Google Talk Chatback, which is a badge you put on your site that opens a special version of the Google Talk gadget. It looks interesting, and a version I could add (and considered) is shown below: Now, the reason I’m not adding one is twofold. First, I never got very many hits from the chat box I did find (which I recently disabled because nobody used it and it just slowed down page loads).…

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New Invisibility in Gmail Chat, Unsupported by Other Google Clients

Googlers seem to be spending all their time developing the Google Talk service on the Gmail section of it. Garett Rogers (ZDNet) and Ionut Alex Chitu (Google Operating System) have so far picked up on the story. It is now possible, only in Gmail at the moment, to set your status as “Invisible” like other IM services. You can see which of your contacts are online and available for chat without them knowing that you are available. That is, unless they’ve also discovered the new invisibility feature (in which case neither of you will see each other). So, here’s the…

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Google Reader Shows Talk Friends’ Shared Items

Google must really want to become a giant social network. Last week (boy, am I late) they added Google Talk friends’ shared items to Google Reader, meaning you don’t have to subscribe to their feeds; you just get them automatically. Of course, that means all your Google Talk contacts also get to see your shared items. And people in your friends list aren’t necessarily your friends. I’m not sure how I feel about this new feature, mostly because I don’t share things (I star them, as you can see in the sidebar), and none of my friends have yet discovered…

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Gmail Chat Gets Talk Gadget Features, but Client Still Lacks

Once again, Google has updated Gmail. Coming just a few weeks after the is support for Group Chat and graphical emoticons in Gmail’s chat function. It looks interesting, and I was wondering when all the innovations of the Google Talk Gadget would be brought to Gmail. I’m glad they did it. The only thing left now is for Google to bring the features home to the Google Talk client, where the service started. Through a conversation with one of my friends, I’ve hashed out some possible reasons for Google’s lack of updates for the client: i80and: Anyway, their main focus…

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