Google Voice gets Wi-Fi calling beta test

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Google Voice app icon

Good news, Google Voice users: A useful new feature is coming to your service.

Google is now offering a beta test of Wi-Fi calling for Google Voice. With Wi-Fi calling, you can make calls from any device with a Wi-Fi connection, you can reduce roaming charges, and you can stay in contact even if you’ve got a poort cellular connection.

You can try out the beta version of Wi-Fi calling for Google Voice right now. Just fill out this form, update your Google Voice app, and then you’ll get an email with further instructions.

Wi-Fi calling for Google Voice is currently available on Android and the web, with iOS support coming soon. If you’re calling from your computer, you’ll need to use Chrome for now. Google says that support for Firefox, Safari, and Edge is coming soon.

Here’s a list of the known issues with Google Voice Wi-Fi calling right now:

  • Obihai devices won’t work if you enable calling over Wi-Fi (e.g. Incoming calls won’t ring your Obihai phone if you turn on calling over Wi-Fi and mobile data)
  • You won’t be able to use incoming call options (call recording & call transfer) when you enable calling over Wi-Fi and mobile data
  • On your computer, Wi-Fi calling only work with Chrome. Support for Firefox, Safari and Edge coming soon!
  • Android Bluetooth support:
  1. You won’t be able to use the buttons on your bluetooth device to answer calls or hang up
  2. Unable to use earpiece mode when a bluetooth device is paired
  3. Depending on your Android version, your calls might drop if you try to switch between Bluetooth and speakerphone.

Wi-Fi calling is a very nice addition to Google Voice. As I mentioned before, you can use Wi-Fi calling from more devices, and it means that you don’t need to rely on a cell carrier’s network to stay connected. You just need to find any Wi-Fi hotspot and you’ll be good to go. If you’re a Google Voice user, the addition of Wi-Fi calling seems pretty great.

Do you use Google Voice? If so, are you going to try Wi-Fi calling?

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Google Voice recruiting testers for new Wi-Fi (or mobile data) calling feature

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For mobile users juggling a bunch of different devices, Google Voice can be something of a godsend. Not only does it let you share a single point of contact through which people can reach you no matter which phone or tablet you’re carrying at the moment, but it does so without requiring the party on the other end to install a specific app — everything travels over regular voice calls and text messages.

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WhatsApp Video Calling Not Working on iPhone and Android? Tips to Fix the Issue

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WhatsApp Video Calling Not Working on iPhone or Android

WhatsApp video calling is what I mostly use to communicate with friends living on the other side of the ecosystem. Though it works pretty well most of the times, it does hit a bumpy ride on some occasions. But thanks to a few simple hacks, I’m able to fix WhatsApp video calling not working issue iPhone or Android.

So, if you are unable to use video calling on your WhatsApp or often find it going off the handle, these tips can be convenient for troubleshooting the issue. Jump over to shoot out the problem so that your communication continues to be freewheeling!

WhatsApp Video Calling Not Working on iPhone or Android

WhatsApp Video Calling Not Working on iPhone or Android Phone? Tips to Fix the Issue

Check out the Internet

Video calling requires strong network and therefore ensure that it’s in top gear. The poor Internet connection might be the main culprit behind this issue.

Turn Off Cellular or Wi-Fi on your mobile device. Next, restart your device and then turn on the Internet connection.

On your iPhone, open Settings → Cellular/Wi-Fi and then turn it off. Now, turn off your device. Wait for sometime and then turn it back on.

Tap on Settings then Wi-Fi on iPhone or iPad

On your Android device, head over to Settings app and then turn off Cellular/Wi-Fi. Next, turn off your device and wait for sometime. Then, restart it. Next up, turn on the Internet connection.

Tap on Settings then WiFi on Android PhoneTurn Off Wi-Fi on Android Device

Update WhatsApp on your Device

It’s always better to keep apps updated to the latest version. Outdated version of an app seems to be always embroiled in trouble. For instance, it may crash randomly, run too slowly and even drain the battery of your device. Therefore, try updating WhatsApp to the latest version on your iOS device.

On your iPhone: Open App Store and select Updates. Then, locate WhatsApp and hit the Update button.

On your Android device: Launch Play Store and then tap on the menu button at the top right corner. Next, tap on My apps & games and then hit the Update button next to WhatsApp.

Update WhatsApp on Android Phone

Once you have updated the app, you should be able to use video calling without any hiccups. But if the issue is still not fixed, move on to the next solution.

Delete and Reinstall WhatsApp from your iPhone or Android Phone

Drastic times call for drastic measures! Many a time, I have resolved stubborn issues just by deleting the app and reinstalling it. Agreed, it sounds crazy and many of you might even laugh at the idea, but it’s worth giving it a fresh start.

But before going for the kill, don’t forget to back up your entire chat history; on your iPhone: open WhatsApp → tap on Settings tab → Chats → Chat Backup.

Take WhatsApp Chat Backup on iPhone

On your Android device: Launch WhatsApp → tap on the menu button at the top right → Settings → Chats → Chat Backup.

Tap on Settings then Chat in WhatsApp on Android Phone

To delete an app on your iPhone, just touch and hold on the app in question and then hit the X button when it starts wiggling. Tap on Delete in the popup to confirm.

Delete WhatsApp from iPhone

On your Android device, Simply touch and hold on the app you want to delete. Tap on Uninstall in the popup and then tap on OK to confirm. 

Delete WhatsApp from Android Device

Update iOS/Android OS on your Mobile Device

No solution as yet? Don’t worry there is still one more way to resolve the problem.

On your iPhone:

Launch Settings app → General → Software Update → download and install the available update.

Update iOS 11.3 on iPhone X, 8 or 8 Plus

On your Android device:

Open Settings app → About device → Update → Check for Update → Download and Install the available update.

I’m sure the issue has been fixed after the software update on your device.

Over to You

So, which one of the afore-mentioned tricks rescued you? Were you able to resolve the issue just by taking care of Internet or you had to go for drastic measures? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

You may like to refer:

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March for Our Lives protest draws hundreds of thousands of students calling for gun control

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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez pauses during the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, DC on March 24, 2018.

It was likely the largest political rally organized by people not old enough to vote.

Following a massacre at a Florida high school, hundreds of thousands of protesters rallied in major U.S. cities and across the world to protest gun violence and calling for political action from Congressional leaders.

The March for Our Lives protest brought out thousands of teenagers and young children across the country, marking an extraordinary moment in U.S. history — it was likely the largest political rally organized by people not old enough to vote.

march for our lives Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Washington, DC

Protestors gathered across almost every major U.S. city, according to organizers. Washington, the site of the main rally, prepared for up to 500,000 people, while New York saw over 150,000, according to Mayor Bill DiBlasio.

The students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were gunned down by a shooter with a high-powered rifle last month, have become key figures in the latest movement for gun control.

 Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
“March for our Lives” protesters in New York.

In particular, Stoneman student Emma Gonzalez, who has become the face of her generation’s anger toward political indecisiveness, stunned the massive gathering in Washington, D.C. as she read out the names of those who were killed at her school.

She went silent for a few minutes as the crowd, assembled within sight of the Capitol rotunda, watched.

She then spoke: “Since the time that I came out here, it has been 6 minutes and 20 seconds. The shooter has ceased shooting, and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”

But the protest is also notable for its size and its proliferation across the U.S. Here, for example, a Snapchat map showing the rallies along the East Coast:

And here are some pictures from Saturday’s rallies:

 AFP/Getty Images
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg speaks during the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, DC.

Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, showed up at the New York protest, which ran along Central Park.

“One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here so it’s important to me,” he said. Fellow Beatle John Lennon was gunned down at his residence, the Dakota, which faces Central Park West, in 1980.

march for our lives Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Paul McCartney at March for Our Lives protest in New York.

In London:

march for our lives Photo by Alex Cavendish/NurPhoto via Getty Images
“March for Our Lives” protestors in front of the U.S. Embassy in London

In Paris:

march for our lives Photo by Owen Franken – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images
March for Our Lives protestors in Paris

In Brussels:

march for our lives Photo by Romy Arroyo Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images
“March for Our Lives” protesters in Brussels, Belgium.

Washington, D.C.:

march for our lives Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Washington, DC.

New York:

march for our lives Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
“March For Our Lives” protesters in New York.

Berlin:

march for our lives Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest at the “March for our Lives” gathering on March 24, 2018 in Berlin, Germany.

Common performing at the rally in Washington, D.C.:

 Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage
Common performs during March For Our Lives on March 24, 2018 in Washington, DC.

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Tim Cook speaks out on Cambridge Analytica debacle, calling for stricter consumer privacy safeguards

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Speaking at the China Development Forum, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about about Facebook’s misuse of customer data, and sounded the call for stricter rules across the board on what companies are allowed to do with harvested information.
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Three Reasons People Are Calling Trivia App HQ the Future of TV

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If you’ve successfully avoided HQ Trivia up until now, congratulations on finding an incredibly secure rock to live under.

Let me catch you up real quick. HQ Trivia is an app-based trivia game that streams live twice per day (once a day on weekends). It’s free to play, and players that make it through all 12 questions or so earn a share of the prize money — at least $ 2,000.

Since its launch in August 2017, HQ has been steadily growing its audience. HQ is sometimes likened to Jeopardy! for millennials, though others think that’s giving HQ a bit too much credit while others are convinced that it’s already jumped the shark. But the numbers say otherwise  on March 4, more than 2 million players logged on in an effort to win a cut of $ 50,000 (only 6 players did).

Investment followed. On March 6, Axios reported that the app secured an additional $ 15 million in funding, with venture capital firm Founders Fund leading the investment round (many players then boycotted the app to protest the funding, which came from Peter Thiel, the venture capitalist and founder of PayPal controversial for his support of Donald Trump, homophobia, and possibly harvesting the blood of the young for his own immortality).

Controversy aside, lots of people think HQ is onto something unique. Here’s why the game might be a sign of what’s to come in the world of entertainment.

It Makes the Familiar Feel New

In essence, HQ Trivia isn’t too far removed from a television show like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? or Jeopardy! What’s new is that just about anybody can participate — and potentially win. The only barrier to entry is access to a smartphone.

HQ Trivia takes advantage of that human instinct to scream at the television when someone gets an obvious question wrong, only now, you can test your wits against other competitors in a setting with stakes.

Even if you don’t win, though, the experience is still fun. HQ Trivia is more interactive that the average televised quiz show, and its usual host, Scott Rogowsky, seems like that know-it-all friend of yours, just trapped in your phone.

It Gets People to Tune in at a Set Time

The popularity of Netflix and its ilk mean you get to watch old reruns of Seinfeld whenever you want, not just when the networks decide. But the same is increasingly true for new shows — there isn’t as much incentive to watch fresh episodes when they first air. That’s why deals for live programming, such as sports events, are more lucrative than ever — because networks can be sure that people will actually tune in. So networks pay big money for these programs, because they can make big money from advertising.

Players have to show up at a certain time to participate in HQ Trivia, and the variability of the jackpots makes it easy for the show’s creators to encourage viewership on specific nights.

It’s Already Popular

HQ Trivia’s 2.1 million players on March 4 might not seem impressive compared to the Oscars’ reported viewership of 32.9 million. Here’s the thing, though: the Oscars celebrated its 90th anniversary this year, whereas HQ Trivia just launched seven months ago.

Now, the question is how the company plans to make money from this popularity. The trivia game still has no ads, though that may soon change.

HQ CEO Rus Yusupov told Axios fans shouldn’t expect typical ads. Instead, advertising will take the form of “native content.” Perhaps they’ll add mentions of advertisers to the host’s script or incorporate branding into the set.

It’s easy to imagine that a major company could sponsor a special episode of the show, providing a huge jackpot in exchange for direct access to all these viewers at once. Perhaps networks could sponsor episodes as well, broadcasting them live on television as a lead-in to other programming in an effort to increase viewership.

Of course, there’s also the possibility of expanding HQ Trivia’s current 15-minute format into a 30- or 60-minute television show itself with a regular time slot. Cyan Banister, a partner at Founders Fund, told Axios that HQ has plans to expand beyond trivia into other kinds of interactive content (what kind is not yet clear). Maybe those programs could fill out the extra time.

Only time will tell if HQ can capitalize on its early success, or if its recent funding will end up doing more harm than good.

The post Three Reasons People Are Calling Trivia App HQ the Future of TV appeared first on Futurism.

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Alexa for Business: Amazon calling the shots in enterprise, it claims

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The retail and Web services giant is conquering the enterprise with its smart assistant, it says.

With Alexa for Business, Amazon looked set to bring its digital assistant into the enterprise technology space. It nows claims to have scored some early successes.

Announced on Internet of Business in December, the company has since been working with a number of companies to refine its Alexa for Business offering for use in the corporate environment.

Until recently, Amazon has pitched Alexa firmly at the consumer space, with skills that are mostly designed to control smart home devices, play music, or find the latest news and weather.

But according to a new blog post by Amazon’s chief technology officer, Werner Vogels, Amazon’s business customers have already built hundreds of private Alexa skills that are designed to help employees perform a range of tasks, “from getting internal news briefings to asking what time their help desk closes.”

The company now believes that the next generation of corporate systems and applications will be built using conversational interfaces.

Happy API talk

To prepare Alexa for deeper adoption in the workplace, Amazon has added a management layer and a set of APIs to integrate with more enterprise apps and infrastructures.

Alexa can already interact with a range of enterprise applications, including Salesforce, Microsoft Exchange and RingCentral, SAP Concur and SuccessFactors, and workflow tool ServiceNow.

According to Vogels, the voice assistant has been deployed in growing numbers of businesses to control office environments, give directions, book meeting rooms, report problems, or arrange transportation for employees.

“One of the biggest applications of voice in the enterprise is conference rooms, and we’ve built some special skills in this area to allow people to be more productive,” he said.

“With Alexa for Business, the administrator can configure conference rooms and integrate calendars with the devices. When you walk into a meeting, all you have to say is ‘Alexa, start my meeting’,” he added.

Vogels said that IT developers who want to take advantage of the voice interface can enable custom apps using the Alexa Skills Kit, and make their skills available solely for their organisations, if they wish.

“There are a number of agencies and systems integrators that can help with this, and there are code repositories with code examples for AWS,” he said.

Alexa in the office

Vogels shared the example of collaborative workspace provider, WeWork. The company has been using Alexa for Business in its everyday workflow for the past few months.

“They have built private skills for Alexa that employees can use to reserve conference rooms, file help tickets for their community management team, and get important information on the status of meeting rooms, ” said Vogels.

“Alexa for Business makes it easy for WeWork to configure and deploy Alexa-enabled devices – and the Alexa skills that they need to improve their employees’ productivity,” said Vogels.

Internet of Business says

IBM, Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, Apple, and Google are among the tech giants refocusing their businesses on cognitive services, AI, and machine learning. But – the earlier Siri aside – Alexa has swiftly become the byword for voice-enabled services, not to mention the stuff of a thousand memes.

Amazon has achieved this by focusing its Echo and Dot devices at the centre of people’s homes. If you can accept a technology in your living room, then you can accept in anywhere, perhaps.

However, while voice might be the most intuitive means for most human beings to communicate with each other, issue simple instructions to devices, or receive basic information, it is an inferior, serial, and time-consuming means of searching or scanning through large volumes of data.

For sighted people at least, screens, smart glasses, and graphical interfaces are likely to remain the quickest and most efficient means of interacting with business information and in-depth reports.

“Alexa, book me a ticket to New York” or “Alexa, show me the latest quarterly figures” are scenarios that work, while “Alexa, compare the past five years of financial results” isn’t, until the technology becomes capable of interpreting and summarising data.

That said, voice already accounts for over 20 percent of search traffic in the US, according to several recent reports.

Perhaps as mobiles force organisations to publish information in smaller and smaller chunks, and people’s attention spans get shorter and shorter as a result, voice interfaces’ influence will continue to grow and the business environment may get noisier.

Read more: Alexa beware! New smart home tests reveal serious privacy flaws

Read more: Kerching! Amazon pays $ 1 billion for a doorbell. Smart idea?

Read more: Amazon takes on UPS and FedEx – and catches Theresa May’s eye

The post Alexa for Business: Amazon calling the shots in enterprise, it claims appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Alexa gets Follow-up Mode to listen to consecutive requests, and enables calling and messaging on tablets

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Every few weeks, Amazon adds a couple of features to its Echo line-up or Alexa app, and today is no different. Rolling out now are two changes: a Follow-Up Mode for Echo speakers and the option to make calls, send messages, and drop in from tablets.

Starting with Follow-Up Mode, this can be activated on a device basis only for US English, and lets you ask other questions to your Echo without repeating the wake word “Alexa.” The way this works is after Alexa answers your first request, the blue indicator light on the Echo remains active for a few seconds, waiting to see if you have any more questions, then turns off.

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Amazon expands Alexa calling and messaging to tablets

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Amazon Fire HD 8 official

Last year, Amazon added a new feature to Alexa’s repertoire in the form of calling and messaging support. That feature has only been available to Echo devices, but now it’s expanding to many more products.

Amazon Alexa now offers calling and voice messaging on tablet devices. This includes Amazon’s own Fire tablets, of course, as well as Android tablets and Apple’s iPad. 

To activate calling and messaging, Fire HD 10 owners can simply use their voice to ask Alexa to perform the actions. Fire 7, Fire HD 8, and told devices will require you to press the Home button. These tablets also offer support for Drop In, a feature that’ll let you connect with other Alexa devices, including those in other people’s homes if they enable it.

Owners of Android and iOS tablets will need to open the Alexa app on their devices to use the calling and messaging functionality.

It’s great to see Amazon expand its Alexa calling and messaging to tablet devices. Now Alexa users that’ve become accustomed to using Alexa for communicating with others can do the same on their tablet. It’s good for Amazon, too, because using Alexa calling and messaging on their tablets can get those users more attached to Alexa and its features.

Have you tried Alexa calling and messaging yet? If not, will its new tablet support get you to try it?

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Amazon adds voice and video calling on tablets through Alexa app

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Amazon has announced that its voice and video calling service from Echo devices is coming to tablets. This includes Apple iPads, Android tablets and Amazon Fire tablets. Amazon Fire HD 10 To access this functionality, users will need to have the Amazon Alexa app installed. On the Fire HD 10, voice calling and messaging can be accessed simply by talking to Alexa. On the Fire 7, Fire HD 8 and older Fire tablets users will have to press the Home button to do the same. On other devices you will have to go to the Alexa app and do it manually. The devices will also support Drop In, a…

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