Google Chrome OS Providing Click To Call Functionality

Google Chrome OS, their cloud based operating system currently being tested, provides click to call functionality on all Google blended local search results as well as phone numbers visible in general search results or on web pages. The call is connect over the Google VOIP network. The functionality is available on Google apps on smartphones but not in any other current desktop environment (unless you are using the buggy Skype plug in).

The click to call functionality is “turned off” if the user does not have a Google Voice account or is logged in as a guest.

As long as the number is formatted with parenthesis i.e (716) 204-1297, the click to call functionality is available across the web and not just on Google products.

Click the image to view the original Chrome OS full screen shot:

Several months ago Google was testing an enhanced Google Places Dashboard that included tracking of calls by mobile devices using Google Maps for Mobile.

Given the lack of an industry wide call tracking standard for local it appears that Google will be going it alone in providing call tracking information from software, services and devices that they control.

The iOS Video Chat Applications: FaceTime vs. Skype

Obviously, these tests aren’t scientific, but now that FaceTime has some real competition from the biggest name in video chat, we thought we’d do a quick comparison of the two. We know there are other apps out there, but since these are by far the most well-known, we’re just covering these for now. For frame of reference, the tests were performed with either an iPhone 4 and an iPod touch 4G or an iPhone 4 and a Hackintosh running OS X with a Logitech Pro 9000 webcam.

Skype

Unlike Skype on the desktop, which has a lot of configuration settings that allow you to optimize video for different connections, Skype on iOS is a chat-out-of-the-box affair. It handles video chatting pretty well, though, since it limits the video quality of the outgoing video to keep it from sucking up your bandwidth. The audio quality we experienced was very clear, and while your outgoing video on the iPhone might not be the best, the incoming video is of higher quality if your chat partner is on a desktop computer. Quality will be a bit lower on both sides if it’s iOS-to-iOS. We did notice a bit of lag in between the video and the audio as well, though it was nothing unbearable—we still found it to be a pleasurable video chat experience.

Feature-wise, it’s important to note that Skype has a big leg up on FaceTime at the time of this writing (January 2011). Not only does it have the ability to video chat over Wi-Fi and 3G, it’s also cross-platform on the desktop, which means you can chat with any of your friends, whether they have Windows, OS X, or Linux.
FaceTime

While FaceTime doesn’t give you as many options as Skype, seeing as it’s iOS and Mac only (and is limited to Wi-Fi at the moment), it does still provide a good video chat experience. The audio quality was still pretty great, and there was no lag between the video and the audio like there was on Skype. The video quality was a bit better when you stood still, though if you started moving around the framerate would drop (until you stood still again).

Overall, I wouldn’t particularly pick one over the other, as they’re both great apps. If you put a gun to my head, I’d probably pick FaceTime, if only for the lack of lag—but the video quality in Skype, while lower, was a bit less distracting (to me, at least). They’re both great apps, and I wouldn’t push any of my friends to use one or the other while chatting with me. Like I mentioned before, Skype has the distinct advantage of being cross-platform and not being limited to Wi-Fi, so that’s always a big plus.

Нова версия на Skype за Android

Преди няколко дни се появи нова версия на приложението Skype за Android, като най-доволни, най-вероятно ще бъдат собствениците на Samsung Galaxy S. Новото приложение може да се инсталира без проблеми на телефоните от тази серия. Това ще бъде възможно, разбира се, само ако сте с Android 2.2/Froyo. За съжаление, Froyo е едно от основните изисквания на приложение за Galaxy S. Благодарение на това, обаче, ще може да поставите Skype в memory картата на устройството. Приложението заема около 15 MB.

Както повечето потребители се досещат, приложението позволява провеждането на безплатни Skype-to-Skype разговори. Разменянето на съобщения, както и общите чатове също са възможни. Освен това, Skype позволява и разговори с фиксирани и мобилни мрежи, но за тях се заплаща.

За да изтеглите приложението, влезте в skype.com/m от телефона си, или сканирайте изображението по-долу:

Ако искате да видите кои други устройства поддържат Skype за Android, натиснете тук.