By Alexey Gavrilov on May 5, 2011
Today we have published a major update to Loudtalks Cloud client software — version 1.2.
Loudtalks Cloud client software version 1.2 has the following key differences from the previous 0.9.* releases:
- Reduced data usage and power consumption when idle. The new version uses 2.5 times less data while running in the background
- Faster status updates especially in the cases when one of the contacts lost network connectivity. With 1.2 detecting a client, which suddenly dropped off the network will take about 30 seconds — four times faster than before
- Improved reliability. We moved large portion of processing from the client to the cloud, which increases software stability and helps to address issues faster
- Compatibility with upcoming BlackBerry and Android releases
Important! The new version is not fully compatible with 0.9 releases (only communication via channels will work between 1.x and 0.9.x clients, direct communication between them is not possible), therefore it’s important to update the client software on all units in your network.
Changes in pricing
If you are using a premium service plan, your subscription plan monthly fee will not change. New customers pricing increases on average 50% starting today. You can check out updated Loudtalks Cloud prices here.
We are still offering a free service plan, which lets you use your private push-to-talk network for up to 10 users.
By Alexey Gavrilov on April 27, 2010
We just published a major update of Loudtalks push-to-talk SDK. Some interfaces were renamed so you will need to make minor changes to your code to recompile it with the new version of the SDK.
- Renamed interfaces to match white-label requirements for developers using .NET
- Added interfaces to provide access to messages history
- Added events to notify about incoming and outgoing messages
- Extended support for channels and groups
- Updated sample code
Download Loudtalks SDK
By Alexey Gavrilov on April 12, 2010
The new version of Loudtalks SDK, is available for download.
- Codebase is updated to the version 0.9.0.67
- Added support for VB6 applications and VB6 sample code
- Extended ActiveX interface to support channels and groups status
- Unique IDs are assigned to all contact list elements
- ContactListChanged event fires when any change in contact list occurs
Download the SDK
By Alexey Gavrilov on February 23, 2010
A little more than a year after public beta launch, a dozen of releases, and a hundred of fixed bugs later Loudtalks Cloud is now officially out of beta.
What it means for you?
- The service is considered stable and suitable for the use in production environment
- Core features set is complete but we have some new exciting plans in the roadmap (more on this later in this post)
- If you use a Basic service plan (up to 10 users), you can continue using it
- If you use a beta version of a premium service plan, you need to switch to a paid version before your beta expires to assure the uninterrupted use of the service.
Switching to a paid service plan
- Check out Loudtalks Cloud pricing and available service plans
- Log-in to your Loudtalks Cloud admin console, go to Account page and switch to the selected service plan
- If you decided to use a free service plan you may need to remove the users and radio gateways to fit into the service plan limits first
- If you are switching to a premium service plan, proceed to Account > Payment to complete the payment and activate your service plan.
- Beta service plans are set to expire on March 15, 2010. Please switch to appropriate paid (or free) service plan before that date.
Here are a few things we want to focus on in the near future:
- Extend and improve the SDK to allow developers better leverage our platform
- Support more mobile platforms. iPhone, Blackberry and Android are in the short list.
The latter goal is quite ambitious but we strongly feel it’s very important. If you agree and want to help us making it happen earlier, go ahead and sign up for a premium Loudtalks Cloud service plan!
One more thing
If you have tested Loudtalks Cloud and planning to continue to use it, send us your feedback or suggestions on how we can improve the service, and we’ll credit your network account with $100, which you could use to pay for the premium service.
By Alexey Gavrilov on January 29, 2010
We’ve made available to the developers the official Loudtalks server API. It works with Loudtalks Mesh and Loudtalks Cloud and allows you to manage users and channels from your application. Using server API together with Loudtalks SDK you can integrate our push-to-talk platform deep into your applications.
Loudtalks server API reference
Loudtalks push-to-talk SDK
By Alexey Gavrilov on September 26, 2009
With Loudtalks Cloud update published yesterday we introduced two new features and numerous improvements, which worth some explanation. These are dynamic channels and clients remote configuration from the admin console.
Now when configuring a channel in the admin console, you can choose from using group channel and dynamic channel.
Dynamic channels have a different icon and work differently too.
- Unlike group channels, when you add it to the user, only that channel (and not its users) is added to user’s contacts
- You can connect and disconnect the channel from the client software in real time by double-click (tap) on the channel name. That way you can easily skip the conversations, which are not relevant at the moment
- Since dynamic channels don’t “pollute” your contact list, they could potentially scale well beyond 100 users per channel so you can use it for broadcast to really large groups of users which was impossible before.
Along with the introduction of dynamic channels concept the group channels operations was also seriously redesigned. Both group and dynamic channels now include the following features:
- For messages received from a channel, the channel name along with sender name appear in the notification window (only user name appeared previously)
- Channels now have their own history display
- When the new message is received from a channel after a period of inactivity (“new conversation” event), the channel is selected in the contacts instead of a user
- Call setup time for one-to-many calls is faster than before and consistently under 1 second
- There is a grace time of 10 seconds for every message sent to the channel. During that time the person speaking couldn’t be interrupted. That solves the issue when many people start speaking simultaneously but still allows to interrupt someone, who took over the channel for too long.
Clients remote configuration
If you are running a large network, you may face the problem of manual configuration of every device, which could be troublesome. With remote configuration feature the network admin can setup certain client options for all users right from the web console.
Right now we enabled the configuration of automatic updates, auto-away and voice quality.
Voice quality configuration wasn’t available before and now you can select one of standard profiles or go real hardcore and modify raw codec options. This might be especially useful if you are using Loudtalks over the satellite internet (where traffic is extremely expensive).
If you haven’t tried Loudtalks Cloud yet, go ahead and try it now. It’s free!
By Alexey Gavrilov on April 26, 2009
Yesterday we’ve released a major Loudtalks update. It’s significant as it introduces major improvements to sound quality and the brand new voice-controlled hands-free operation mode. Here are the release notes:
- [new] VOX-controlled handsfree option (more on this in the next post)
- [new] Noise suppression
- [new] Reduced latency to ~300 ms (under perfect conditions i.e LAN, could be longer due to network delay but in any case you’ll notice that this version is MUCH faster)
- [new] Re-grouped settings to combine Hotkeys and Alerts on a single tab
- [new] Show an overlay icon in the contacts for the users, who connect from mobile device
- [fix] Crash when restoring from sleep / hibernate
- [fix] Tray icon sometimes disappears
- [new] Noise suppression
- [new] Reduced latency to ~300 ms (under perfect conditions)
- [new] Added status line to the UI (shows your current online status)
Download the new release
By Alexey Gavrilov on January 26, 2009
Today we are introducing the new product in the Loudtalks family. It’s Loudtalks Cloud — a managed push-to-talk service for companies and groups. So what is it and how is it different from Loudtalks?
- Loudtalks is an open network, where anyone can speak to anyone. Loudtalks Cloud is a closed network for your group or organization only.
- Loudtalks is 100% free. Loudtalks Cloud is freemium, which means both free and paid service options. More on this later in this post.
- Loudtalks Cloud doesn’t have any client-side contacts management. It’s all handled by web-based admin console so if you want to add a new employee, just few clicks and… boom, she’s in everyone’s contact list. This is especially convenient if you use a mobile version.
- Loudtalks Cloud supports massive channels with as many as 100 online participants. Channels management is web-based too.
- We host all supernodes for Loudtalks Cloud ourselves, which allows to provide consistent performance and faster communication.
- Communication within Loudtalks Cloud is seriously encrypted (AES 256 bits with disposable one time session keys, securely exchanged using RSA 360 bits) so you can use it for sensitive talks. We never store any of your messages on our servers (as in Loudtalks).
- Each network gets personalized setups of Loudtalks for Windows and Windows Mobile available for download from network’s homepage so the only thing your users have to do to get started is to install the app and enter their username and password.
- You can enter Full name and Job title for each user, while keeping usernames short.
The new service is available now as a public beta. We anticipate we might have to restrict the new sign ups depending on the demand vs capacity but hopefully it all will go smoothly. Setup is really simple and would take you less than 3 minutes.
As I mentioned Loudtalks Cloud comes in two flavours. Here are the options:
This option is suitable for personal groups and small businesses. You get all the features of Loudtalks Cloud free with the only limitation, that you can’t have more than 10 people in your group. Based on our analysis this is sufficient for the most of our users so why don’t you try it now?
Premium service includes all you get with the free service plus more:
- Unlimited number of users
- Support of two-way radio gateways
- Priority email support with guaranteed response-time
- Priority treatment of feature requests
- Monitored network availability and uptime SLA
Premium plans start at $39 per month (for 20 users or 10 users + 2 radio gateways) pay-as-you-go and there are discounts if you need more than 50 users. We hope that if you use the service in your business, it is well worth the subscription fee. During the beta testing Loudtalks Cloud is free for everyone (users limit is not enforced) so please try it and tell us what extra could we do to help you justify the investment.
Of course the free Loudtalks service remains here and we continue to support and develop it. You can run Loudtalks Cloud client in parallel with standard Loudtalks if you want.