Sunday, July 03, 2011

Hangouts Mailbag

Wow, people sure seem to like Hangouts! Following up on a few questions I've been asked in the past week:


Q: "So does this require a certain operating system or version? I would love to conference with a few friends in remote areas with limited computer access."

A: We support all major desktop OSes and browsers (including Mac OS 10.6 "Snow Leopard"). You can see the full list of supported configs here. Other configs may work, but we haven't tested them specifically.

Q: "I was curious about: Latency < 100 ms -> Is this end2end ?"

A: This is the end-to-end transmission latency target.

Q: "Any comment about mobile access?"

A: I'll let our PR answer this: "... we can’t comment on future product plans. However, Google Plus heavily invests in mobile products as we believe you should be able to share and communicate, whether you are on the web, tablet, or phone.”

Q: I love the look of the interface. How much of this design and technology grew out of the Google's Marratech acquisition? 

A: Upon acquisition, the Marratech team was immediately integrated into our group, and they've had a big role in the development of our video technology.

Q: Are you guys planning to open up the tech behind Hangouts? Also, is it based on Muji or was it built from scratch? 


A: Yes, we plan to publish the specifications needed to interoperate with Hangouts. At a high level, it's based on XMPP MUC (XEP-0045) and Jingle (XEP-0166/167), with some other enhancements needed to handle our architecture. We looked at Muji but concluded it wasn't a good fit for our service.

Q: Since Hangout is basically a "meet-me" conference, meaning the participants initiate a session with the conference bridge, why is there a need for ICE and STUN? 

A: ICE is useful for many things besides NAT traversal. We're able to do a bunch of smart things related to mobility, firewall compatibility, and service failover using ICE.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Would you mind clarifying the point about transmission latency target? By this, do you mean: users located in geographies separated by distances that require more than 100ms will not be able to use this feature?

Scott Ott said...

Google Talk Plugin quits unexpectedly when I try to do Hangout on my iMac (Core Duo 2, 17", Snow Leopard). I have reinstalled the Voice and Video plugin numerous times. Before getting Google+ set up, I didn't have trouble with it, but now I get the error popup after normal GoogleTalk phone calls.
It works, BTW, on my kids' MacBook.

Help,
Scott

JanS said...

Hi,
The hangouts are awesome indeedA Will Fedora be continuously supported by Google Voice and Video plugin?
Now I am using a google-talkplugin YUM repository from: http://dl.google.com/linux/talkplugin/rpm/stable/i386

I have installed this using that page:
http://www.google.com/chat/video/download.html

But now, I have found in the link you have provided in your post, than only Debian distributions will be supported! Can you comment on this a little?

Thanks!

juberti said...

Scott, you've run into a bad interaction between Hangouts and a Mac program called Audio Hijack Pro. We've posted an easy workaround for this issue: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103619602351433955946/posts/NVJkR1sd64g

Anonymous said...

I love hangouts!

I'd recommend checking out the chrome extension that lets you find public hangouts to join!

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/bldcanahhkgbodlgbopnanbkhckaakac?hl=en-US

Anonymous said...

These hangouts are supercool. I plan to use them to play D&D with my friend in Japan.

It would be really cool to be able to send a screencast through a hangout.

Will the newly updated version of libjingle eventually allow me to use hangouts on opensource chromium on Linux without any plugins?

Anonymous said...

These hangouts are supercool. I plan to use them to play D&D with my friend in Japan.

It would be really cool to be able to send a screencast through a hangout.

Will the newly updated version of libjingle eventually allow me to use hangouts on opensource chromium on Linux without any plugins?