April 25 outage postmortem

By Alexey Gavrilov on April 29, 2012

Zello has been growing like crazy recently — with number of active users increasing 23% on average each week since iPhone release. April 25 was starting great setting a new record of 222k people online at the same time and all systems running smoothly.

We first noticed the problem at 9:30 AM Pacific — signing into network was taking long time and the number of online user started to drop. Quick check confirmed that some of the supernodes handling user connections were down. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem because if one server dies, the users will automatically reconnect to a different one. It wasn’t happening though — the users couldn’t re-login creating a huge backlog, traffic and CPU load on the login server. At Zello we use membase to store data, which require low-latency access. The failed server was also a part of a membase cluster, we created recently to handle increased load. This failure however had catastrophic effect making membase unresponsive and preventing new users from signing in.

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The Zello Night Watch

By Alexey Gavrilov on April 27, 2012

Names and locations have been changed to protect night watch volunteers.

April 20, 2012 — Zello catches criminals

Last Tuesday we opened up an email from a user in Malaysia named Jebat. Like many emails, it told about his experience with Zello and how much he loves the app. Unlike most emails, it revealed that for Jebat and his community in southern Selangor, Zello means life or death. He wrote:

Bro, thanks for this apps. We used to use PTT on GSM phones to serve our local community for night watch program. We did this for free and served the whole district 24/7. Suddenly, the only telco that served this app, stopped the service.

Crime rates rised up almost triple times. But thanks to you guys, we find this Zello and continue this public service to our community

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Keep Zello Weird

By Alexey Gavrilov on April 23, 2012

That’s right, the Zello team was in Austin this weekend! After working from offices in Dallas, Austin, Palo Alto and St. Petersburg, six team members finally came together last Thursday with one goal in mind…

Keep Zello Weird.

We got off to a good start by piling into our Fearless Leader’s 12 passenger van and staying in a funky house (fondly called “The Zello Commune”) in a neighborhood close to UT.

In all seriousness, the weekend was well spent. Highlights include:

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Walkie talkies and the military

By Alexey Gavrilov on April 20, 2012

Zello push-to-talk: faster than a hopping kangaroo

Since 2010, we’ve been honored to work with Advanced Ground Information Systems on one of the most “classic” uses for push-to-talk: a first responder/military application called “LifeRing.” Using Zello’s stellar SDK/API, LifeRing combines PTT, GPS and an impenetrable data bubble to make an app that’s not only lifesaving – but extremely cool.

How does a military app work anyway?

That’s classified information. No, really… it is. What we can tell you is that AGIS’ CEO Cap Beyer describes the LifeRing system as, “a map-­‐based world,” in which each of AGIS’ key features is tied to its GPS function. For instance, a military officer has the ability to silently direct his troops by drawing an arrow on his own LifeRing map.

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PrimeFlight Aviation and Zello PTT — Come fly with us!

By Alexey Gavrilov on April 18, 2012

Ever landed in San Francisco International Airport?

You’d know if you h­­ad. With four terminals and seven concourses, it ranks as one of the busiest in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world. Flying in or out isn’t likely to be an experience you’ll forget soon.

Fortunately for San Francisco, facilities provider PrimeFlight Aviation will be implementing a few changes this month that should help calm San Fran’s busy terminals. PF Aviation provides ground services, security and facilities for almost every U.S. airline in 40+ airports. This April, they’ll make San Francisco the latest to use Zello PTT for calm, collected communication.

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iPhone app version 1.1

By Bill Moore on April 16, 2012

A Zello para atualização iPhone já? Não basta fazer a primeira versão??
…Sí, somos tan buenos 🙂

Изменения, которые нам нравятся больше всего:

  1. تقديم الدعم لتحسين صوتية
  2. UI oversatt til portugisisk, spansk russisk, arabisk og norske.

We have Zello users all over the world. Interested in helping us translate the app to your language? Email us at info@zello.com

In the meantime, grab the first Zello for iPhone update! Version 1.1 is available now with these improvements:

  • New Recent conversations tab
  • Ability to listen to history messages when offline
  • UI translated to Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic and Norwegian
  • Improved VoiceOver support
  • Improved voice quality when both users are on  WiFi
  • Faster call setup
  • Reduced CPU and memory use
  • Online status saved between application starts
  • Lots of bugfixes

Zello for Android 1.26 has push notifications

By Bill Moore on April 15, 2012

What’s in this version:

  • Added support for push notifications
  • Added option to mute seleсted users in a public channel
  • Added Norwegian by John Andre Netland, www.a-pro-studio.no
  • Prevent display timeout when Talk screen is active
  • Auto-scroll history to the last message
  • Audio quality selection based on connection type
  • Revised contacts sort order
  • Revised menu items order
  • Fixed incorrect timestamps for offline messages
  • Fixed status bar icon disappearing on ICS
  • Fixed audio playback issues on Asus Garminphone

Older Zello for Android release notes