Google recently expanded its Apps services for enterprise users by making its premium communication features available to everyone. Apps customers can now broadcast a 15 person Hangout chat session with HD video quality, a perk previously unavailable to standard subscribers. Furthermore, these new premium features introduce enhanced privacy controls that let admins restrict a Google+ post’s visibility, along with the option to hide employee profiles from external searches.
Google updated its Google+ for Android app today, and the most notable tweak allows users to join Hangouts on Air from their mobile devices.
That is not all: Teens can now create and join Hangouts from their mobile devices too. Apparently, they could not before, but Google now lets them take advantage of the social network’s premier video-chat feature on an Android-based smartphone or tablet.
Google Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra just posted an exclusive link on his Google+ profile for users to Hangout with their fantasy league at NFL.com.
The league is integrating Google+’s popular Hangout video-chat feature on NFL.com to give users a chance to visually interact with other Fantasy Football players from anywhere at any time. This is a huge advancement for the imagination-based sport, which typically eyes participation growth without any changes to technology.
According to The Wall Street Journal, this is the first time Google has implemented Hangouts into a third-party service. The feature is free and available 24/7 by way of a button on fantasy team pages. Google also increased Hangout’s 10-person limit, because leagues usually have about 12 players.
YouTube just launched a face-blurring feature for when “footage requires anonymity.”
The new addition to the video-sharing platform is self-explanatory. It is a tool that allows users to muddle faces in videos with just the click of a button.
“Whether you want to share sensitive protest footage without exposing the faces of the activists involved, or share the winning point in your 8-year-old’s basketball game without broadcasting the children’s faces to the world, our face blurring technology is a first step towards providing visual anonymity for video on YouTube,” explained the official YouTube Blog.
To blur faces: Go to Additional Features under Video Enhancements, and then click the “Apply” button below Blur All Faces. Users can see a preview before publishing, and a new copy is created with the blurred faces when saved. Users have the option to delete the original video.
YouTube warned that the tool is an “emerging technology,” so Face Blur may have difficulty auto-detecting faces.
CamUp filed a lawsuit late last week that claimed Google ripped its video-chat feature for Google+ and YouTube.
The lawsuit filing revealed Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president, along with a few Mountain View engineers, approached the New York-based startup at the South by Southwest Festival in March 2011. They later met in London to negotiate adding a Hangout-like button, called “Watch with your friends on CamUp,” to Google’s popular video-sharing platform, YouTube. Despite receiving accolades on its product, CamUp did not hear from the Googlers after the meeting.
By May 2011, CamUp detected an alarming amount of visits from Google’s headquarters in California. The startup suggested that the traffic is evidence of Google beginning to examine its product for copying purposes. Google launched Hangouts with a “Watch your friends” button just one month later, which were allegedly indistinguishable from CamUp’s offerings.
CamUp is seeking damages, an injunction to remove Hangouts on YouTube and Google+, and it is suing Google UK’s Director of Business and Markets Richard Robinson.
Google wants to stop YouTube-MP3.org from ripping audio within YouTube’s videos.
TorrentFreak obtained a June 8-dated letter where the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company threatened to take legal action against the conversion website, which, according to Google’s numbers, rakes 1.3-million daily visitors.
Google’s video-sharing platform is free and provides content that is embeddable or accessible through its API, while YouTube-MP3.org is free, pulls audio from YouTube videos, and then converts those files into downloadable MP3s. Apparently, despite the API that gives developers access to many features, pirating any sound directly violates YouTube’s Terms of Service agreement.
The leaked letter addresses the website’s owner, Philip. In the warning, YouTube’s Associate Product Counsel Harris Cohen cited the platform’s terms for API, where he maintained that separating, isolating, or modifying “the audio or video components of any YouTube audiovisual content made available through the YouTube API” is strictly prohibited.
Cohen threatened “legal consequences” for YouTube-Mp3.org, and he gave the website a week to comply. TorrentFreak spoke with Philip, who said YouTube does not want to negotiate. He also mentioned Google immediately blocked his website’s servers from accessing YouTube.
Hangouts on Google+ are often touted as one of the social networks flagship features, which is why it is not too surprising that Google has now integrated YouTube into the feature. Available through a “YouTube” link at the top of the Hangouts screen, after users have allowed access to the app, members of the hangout can add videos for everyone to view in a familiar YouTube playlist on the right. The playing video airs in the large part of the screen above the active members, while everyone sees and can edit the same videos or playlist. Google explained:
Everyone can add videos in the Hangout through a search tool in the app, or remove the videos you don’t like. All your friends in the Hangout can drag and drop videos to sort the order in the playlist, or skip forward or backward to play the next one. Click the “Push to talk” button to chat with the group to give props to the best curator, or to hand out reprimands to the friend who keeps adding the 10-hour Nyan Cat video.
The SVAndroid Hackathon is taking place at Google TV headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., and tickets are $20, but purchasing options end April 17.
Team ideas will be announced April 20, and the following day is “devoted to building, with breaks for demo sessions, Q&As, and a hangout with Google TV developers,” according to the Official Google TV Blog. The teams will present ideas to judges April 22 for the chance to win tickets to Google I/O and other prizes.
The Londroid Hackathon is occurring at the Google Campus in London, United Kingdom. It will run concurrent with the Mountain View event to gather Android devs throughout Europe.
“We will kick things off bright and early on Saturday, April 21, with introductions and background information on developing for Google TV. Teams will power on through Saturday night so that we can do a round of presentations and prizes at lunchtime on Sunday,” explained Google TV Senior Developer Advocate Paul Carff on the Official Google TV Blog.