Google plans to kill Google Voice in coming months, integrate features into Hangouts

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We’ve heard that Google Voice is getting dragged to the trash can and most of its functionality will be incorporated into the G+ Hangouts apps on both Android and iOS. This has already happened to an extent with the ability to phone friends on Hangouts, but we’re hearing the full shuttering and depreciation of the app is the next step.

What’s interesting here is that VoIP-to-phones is expected to be integrated into the Hangouts iOS and Android apps so that, just like with the Web version, you could be able to actually make (and receive) VoIP calls directly from your Google phone number. Whether the carriers and Apple are okay with this isn’t certain, and the thought is that it could be enabled by carrier like Apple’s FaceTime (or could be scrapped altogether) depending on the global market and the carrier. Read more

Is Google Glass doomed before it ever goes mainstream?

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There’s been no shortage of critique regarding Google Glass, its future, privacy, and of course cost. A new Google+ write-up by the most famous “Glasshole” Robert Scoble raises a number of issues relating to Glass and the potential for it to be both wildly popular and doomed before it even gets started. Scoble lists a number of reasons why it’s possible that Glass could be both successful or find itself on the shelf of great Google products that were introduced before their time.

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Google+: Will it do for live video what YouTube did for recorded video?

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By now it’ll come as absolutely no surprise that Google has gone all in on Google+, it’s clearly a major part of the company’s future roadmap. We know that with the evolution of every new feature on Google+, it’s one more step in the search engine giants plans to allow the don’t-call-it-a-social-service to dominate the social world.

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Google adds a few more goodies to Glass before years end

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Google just dropped a few more updates for Glass via Google+ to help end 2013 in the best way possible. Included in this shiny new update are the Wall Street Journal, Weather Alerts, Winkfeed (different from yesterday), Upload to YouTube and Hangouts. All in all, it’s a pretty hefty update for Glass fans and offers a few more reasons to consider shelling out $1500 courtesy of the money you got from returning all those ugly sweaters your grandparents are preparing to give you on Christmas day.

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Google adds shake feature to Google+ for Android, adds snow to your photos

Google’s Vic Gundotra just announced a bunch of updates for Google+ for Android, including shaking your Android device to add some snow to your photos. Similar to last weeks addition of the snowy autoawesome feature, all you have to do is open your photo, shake your device and snow will start falling. It’s a gimmicky but nifty feature and one we’ve come to expect from Google in years past.

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Poll: Do you like Google+ comments on YouTube?

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As news spread this morning that one of the original YouTube founders, Jawed Karim isn’t fond of Google+ YouTube comments, it begs the question what others think. The introduction of the new comment system led Karim to post his first comment on the site in 8 years:

“Why the fuck do I need a google+ account to comment on a video?”

Now, at first glance I’d say I agree with him, it just seems like another opportunity for Google to push its social media service right under a nose. On the flip side, there’s little argument that YouTube’s comment section is a black hole of the internet. If there’s even a remote possibility that Google+ can improve the quality of the conversation on YouTube, I say hell yes.

It remains unclear is Karim is truly the man responsible for the comment or if someone hacked his account. With the news that Feedly suddenly backtracked using Google+ authentication based on initial feedback, the question remains whether or not Google is making the right move pushing their service on YouTube?

So what say you, is Google+ the right comment system for YouTube? Would you like to see them spread to a blog like this one?

Feedly, our favorite Google Reader replacement adding Google+ (and others) sign-in

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Update: That was fast. Feedly has officially backpedaled on its decision to switch to Google+ sign-in after feedback from users:

[Update: the fact that this changing is forcing users to create a Google+ profile and that Google+ is not available in some companies and on some Google Apps domains outweighs the benefit of being about to login more seamlessly across devices. So we are going to rollback this change later this afternoon - Friday 1:00pm PST. We will try to make it optional in the future for some users who like Google+. Thanks for the feedback].

Feedly, our runaway favorite and the most popular Google Reader replacement is adding Google+ authentication to the service. A new post on Feedly’s blog indicates that as Google transitions from OAuth sign-in to Google+ so too will Feedly.

We are following on Google’s lead and transitioning feedly from Google OAuth to Google+ login. You will see this transition surface on cloud.feedly.com this week and on Android and iOS later this month.

The company teases that the introduction of Google+ authentication will “open the door to some interesting sharing features we have been working on.” That’s not to say Feedly is ignoring alternative log-in sources as well as the same post indicates they are also working on adding Twitter, Facebook and WordPress login options.

Are you starting to you use Google+ sign-in around the web? Read more

YouTube begins rolling out new comment system featuring Google+

There’s little question we all would love to see an improvement in the quality and flow of YouTube video comments. That’s why the introduction of a “better commenting” system is beginning this week is cause for hope. Diving right in, we’ll take a look at what Google suggests as the three main takeaways with this comment system:

  • Comments you care about move to the top: You’ll see posts opportunities the top of the list from the video’s creator, popular personalities, engaged discussions about the video, and people in your Google+ Circles. You can still see the most recent comments by switching from “Top Comments” to “Newest First.”
  • Join the conversation publicly or privately: You can choose to start a conversation so that it is seen by everyone, only people in your Circles, or just your bestie. Like Gmail, replies are threaded so you can easily follow conversations.
  • Easily moderate comments: If you also post videos on your channel, you’ll have new tools to review comments before they’re posted, block certain words or save time by auto-approving comments from certain fans. Read more

Google announces new caller ID features coming in 2014, Google+ profile image integration

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Google’s plan to throw Google+ into every single aspect of your Android and Google life continues with some newly announced caller ID features coming in 2014. Beginning early next year, the company plans on linking Google+ profile images with mobile phone numbers. The “good news” is if already have a verified phone number with el Goog, you’re automatically opted in! In other words, if you are using Android to make a call or receive a call from a number linked to a Google+ account, you will see a profile image automatically without having the persons contact information stored.

Attila Bodis, an Android software engineer whose team is working on the new caller ID feature announcing the changes on his…wait for his, his Google+ page:

“Coming in early 2014, users who have verified their phone number and have discovery turned on will have their names and Google Profile photos display whenever they call you, or you call them (it’s great if a new friend who hasn’t been saved in your contacts yet calls you). Check your Google Account to make sure you are happy with how you appear on caller ID by Google: http://goo.gl/g9P3Bp”

Some of the initial caller ID improvements are already live with the release of Android 4.4 KitKat, but the photo integration won’t come until “early 2014.” Thew new phone app in KitKat will help you find the right number, even if it isn’t in your contact list by letting you “search nearby places or even Google Apps accounts directly from within the app — just start typing and the results show up!”

If you want to avoid Google showing off your Google+ profile image to the world, you can disable the “help people who have your phone number find you on Google services and connect with you” option available in your Google account settings.”

Verge via Google+ Attila Bodis