Zello and Zello+ iPhone Update 2.1 Today

By Jim Pickering on March 20, 2013

Zello has a new look. Last month, we released a paid version of Zello for the iPhone called Zello+. We’ve also updated both versions with a new design and new features. Zello uses a left navigation menu instead of the tabs on the bottom of the screen. This helps you quickly get from one screen to another.

What’s that eye staring at me on the talk screen?

See the “eye” on the talk screen in the below screen shot? Think of the new talk screen as having a front and a back. Use the front of the talk screen for talking and the back for the details. Press the “eye” to flip to the back of the talk screen and “see” the details. On the back of the talk screen, you’ll find the History and Profile. For channels, you’ll also see the current list of active users.

     

Tap the tabs at the bottom to switch between the views. If you’re on a channel, the blue power button on the screens allow you to quickly connect to or disconnect from the channel.
     

What’s new in Zello

Zelect channels

You have three choices for channel channel types: “Anyone can talk,” “Listen only” and “Zelect,” the all-new type.

When you set your channel to Zelect, new users can only listen to others and talk to moderators. Once the owner or a moderator of the channel identifies you as a trusted member, you can talk and be heard by everyone. If you are new to a Zelect channel, you’ll see the moderator’s Zello name and a light yellow background when he or she speaks to you.  Be nice and ask for permission to join the channel.

     

If you’re the owner or moderator of a Zelect channel, you have some new tools to manage the channel.  Tap the arrow to access the moderator tools.  You can talk to all the moderators, mute all of the untrusted users, talk to a single moderator or talk to a single untrusted user. When selecting a single user, you can: trust, block, make the user a moderator or return to talking to all users. (Only the channel owner can promote someone to moderator.)

     

Volume control

Sometimes users can be too loud or not loud enough that you need to adjust their volume.  You now have two ways to do this: on the user’s profile screen, move the slider to adjust the volume, or on the talk screen, slide your finger up and down just to the right of the talk button to adjust the volume for the user currently talking.  The title will display the current setting and a small arrow will rotate along the edge of the talk button.  Zello will remember the volume setting for each user.

     

History for alerts

Alerts are now saved to history. You can see alerts in your History feed along with voice messages. To delete, tap the Trash button at the bottom, select the entries to delete and tap “Delete.”

     

Share a channel

Share a channel with your friends using Facebook, Twitter, e-mail or a text message.  Select the profile for the channel, then Share icon to the right of the camera icon.

     

Active notifications

When someone sends you a contact request or channel invitation you will see a blue notification in the status bar. If you tap the notification, Zello will take you to the user or channel profile so you can approve or block the request right away. In the below screen shot, Green Kitty sent a contact request. Tap the notification to view the profile screen for Green Kitty.

     

When someone is talking, Zello displays a black notification with the user’s name.  If you tap that, Zello takes you to the talk screen for that user or channel.  The below screen shows a notification that Green Kitty is talking. Tap that and Zello switches to the talk screen for Green Kitty.

     

Manage blocked users and channels

When someone sends you a contact request or a channel invitation, you can block or flag the request.  If you change your mind later, you  can now remove those blocked requests. Press the Gear icon next to your Zello username to acces your profile. Icons will appear on the bottom of the Profile Tool menu if you have blocked channels or contacts.  Tap the Blocked Channel or Blocked Contacts icon to manage the blocked requests.

     

Whats new in Zello+

If you throw 99 pennies at us for Zello+,  you get all the new features in Zello plus you can customize Zello alerts.

Custom alerts

     

Select an alert sound from our Zello site …

     

Or choose a song from your Music library and use part of it as an alert.

     

Happy Zello … ing

Making your channel inviting

By Jim Pickering on June 1, 2012

Your channel is a big hit, crowds of people are joining.

In my last post I gave some examples of how to use channels.  So now that you have created your own really cool channel, how do you let your friends know about it? What do you do about those users that live to disrupt your wonderful new creation? The new release has some new features to help.

Invite your friends

In 1.3 we added the ability to invite your friends to join a channel.  Could be your channel, or some other channel you’ve found.  You can invite your friends either when you create a channel or anytime you are on the talk screen of a channel.

After you create the channel you will be presented with a list of your contacts.  You can only invite people you have added to your contacts list.  If your list is empty or small, then you need add more contacts, so tell your friends to join Zello!   You can invite your friends to join Zello by pressing the ‘+’ button on the ‘Contacts’ tab.

                     

Select the ones that you would like to invite.   You can also access the ‘Invite Friends’ feature by selecting the ‘menu’ button on the talk screen of a channel.

 

Your friends will receive the invitation in the new ‘Channels’ tab.  It will display the name of the channel and who sent the invitation.  You can accept or decline the invitation.  If you accept, the channel will be added to your Channels list.

             

What happens if the channel that you were invited to is password protected, do you have to contact the person that invited your and get the password?  No,  Zello handles all those details for you, you don’t need to know the password, all you have to do is accept the invitation.

Channel happiness

Your channel is up and you have invited your friends.  The channel is a big hit, people are joining your channel in droves.  But now you are noticing a few users that just seem to be irritating everyone else, what do you do?  Since you are the owner of the channel you have the option of blocking people that are disrupting the fun.  You can’t be on your channel 24×7, now what?  Zello 1.3 allows you to assign some of your friends to help.  Now you can delegate some of your authority.

Choose  your channel from the ‘Channels’ tab, this will put you on the Talk Screen. Press the ‘Menu’ button and select the ‘Channel Details’ button from the talk screen.  If you are the Channel Administrator you will see the word ‘Administrator’  in the header.  You will also see an ‘Edit’ button on the right hand side of the navigation bar.

 

 

When you press the ‘Edit’ button you will see the menu containing  ”Channel details”, “Moderators” and “Blocked users” buttons.  Press the “Moderators” button.  Choose the contacts that will help you moderate your channel.

                     

 

Now your moderators can help you make your channel  stay on topic with less disruptions.

User ‘rangerdog’ is pressing the talk button over and over, saying really odd things, and is just being plain annoying. Your new moderator can take control when your not online to help.  Selecting ‘rangerdog’ from the list of users will bring up an option screen, select ‘Block user’ to block this poor lost soul.

              

 

Everyone is happy to see ‘rangerdog’ is no longer allowed to participate in the channel.

 

If ‘rangerdog’ ever comes to his/her senses, you have the option of unblocking him/her.

           

 

 Keep it fun

We want everyone to have fun and enjoy the channels, keep the feedback coming so we can continue to improve our social radio.

 Photo credit: Jim Pickering

Zouth by Zouthwest

By Meaghan on March 23, 2012

Greetings to all! I’m Meaghan Grant, Sales Associate and newest member of the Zello family. I will be lending my voice to this little blog every now and again.

Several weeks ago the intrepid Zello marketing team of three…and a half (Jim lives there)…packed up shop and headed to Austin for the annual South-by-Southwest conference. To the average hipster South-by-Southwest (SXSW) elicits nothing more than images of concerts and mosh pits.  Those of us in-the-know recognize it for the techie nirvana it really is, beginning with the huge kickoff weekend dedicated to new and emerging technology. Zello took full advantage of the festival to gather consumer feedback and attend events highlighting the geniuses of the tech world. We also took the time to make this awesome video (Teresa, you’re brilliant) illustrating a sweet new angle: Zello Channels.  Check it out!

Zello Push-to-Talk @ SXSW

This feature opens a world of possibilities. Not only can you use the Push-to-Talk app to communicate via voice instantly, but you can also create and personalize channels to reach whole groups of people. As Teresa mentioned in the video- how neat would it be for an event like SXSW? A voice interactive information desk that anyone and everyone can access.  Pretty cool? We think so.

Keep an eye on our facebook page for upcoming opportunities to tell us how you think Zello Channels could be used or tweet your inspiration now #ZelloChannels!

 

Meaghan

Public channels in Loudtalks Lite

By Alexey Gavrilov on April 19, 2010

The most recent update of Loudtalks Lite introduces new important feature — public talk channels. Public channels are open conversations between Loudtalks users, where as many as 100 people can participate at once. The concept is somewhat similar to Skypecasts, which were offered by Skype until discontinued in 2008.

Public channels are useful to:

  1. Meet the new people from around the world
  2. Discuss a topic with like minded strangers
  3. Share and receive updates on important time-sensitive information (traffic situation in your area, stocks market etc)
  4. Broadcast your status updates to interested followers (yes, like twitter)
  5. Learn a new language

Connecting to existing channels

1. Use menu Tools > Add a channel…

2. Enter channel name or the keywords (you can try ‘lobby’ or ‘support’) and press Next

3. It’ll show the list of the channels found. Click on the desired channel name to select it and click Next

4. After confirmation screen the channel will appear in your contacts.

5. To talk to the channel, select it in the contacts and use PTT key as usual. Please note that some channels may be “read-only”.

6. Use right-click on the channel name to Connect or Disconnect the channel or setup Auto-connect, when you log in.

7. If you want to delete the channel from your contacts you can use Tools > Delete selected contact(s) menu command.

When receiving a message from a channel both user name and channel name are displayed. In Loudtalks history you can use context menu on the incoming message to add the user who sent it to your contacts with one click. We are building the directory of the channels available to make the discovery easier.

Creating and managing your own channel

Have something interesting to share with the world? You can create one or more channels yourself!

1. Use Tools > Create a channel… menu command.

2. Name your channel, add description, select the channel type and click Next.

It’s very important to write a good and detailed description — the keywords it includes can be used by others to find your channel. Include the language of your channel, and its location (for location-sensitive information) into description. You can either allow anyone to talk on the channel or make it broadcast-only so you can talk uninterrupted. In the later case you may want to create another channel specifically for comments and mention it in the main channel description.

3. If the channel name is available, it’ll be created, added to your contacts and available for others to join.

4. The person who created the channel becomes channel administrator and have additional functions available in the context menu on incoming message in the history.

To fight abuse the channel admin can block any user from accessing the channel (or unblock the user previously blocked).

Hope you’ll enjoy the new feature! It’s still an early version of it so please share your suggestions and feedback — either in comments here or via ‘support’ channel in Loudtalks Lite.

Update (May 12, 2010): Now you can browse the public channels online.

Star Trek Communicator sounds in Loudtalks

By Alexey Gavrilov on September 26, 2009

Are you a Start Trek fan? Do you know that you can feel like on the bridge of USS “Enterprise” with a little customization of Loudtalks, which would turn your phone into Star Trek Communicator. Here is how:

  1. Go to http://drop.io/ax85pip and download startrek.wav and startrek2.wav sounds to your PC or mobile phone
  2. If you downloading to the phone, make sure to put them into ‘My Documents’ folder so that the app can find them
  3. If you are using desktop version of Loudtalks go to step 4), mobile — step 5)
  4. Open Options (via Tools > Options… menu) and activate Control tab, go to step 6
  5. Open Options (via Menu > Options… menu) and activate Control tab
  6. Set “New conversation alert” checkbox, then click “Change…” button, browse for startrek2.wav file and click Open
  7. Next to “Clear to send alert” checkbox, then click “Change…” button, browse for startrek.wav file and click Open
  8. Use “Test” button to verify that the sounds are loaded, click “OK” to close Options dialog and enjoy!

What lightweight means

By Alexey Gavrilov on August 6, 2009

We say that Loudtalks is lightweight, but what does it actually mean?

Here is a little test.

1. Take a 5 years old laptop with 1.7 GHz CPU

2. Launch 21 (yes, that’s twenty one) copies of Loudtalks Mesh client on it

3. Launch  Loudtalks Mesh server on the same laptop (!) under VMWare

4. Test one to many messaging from the first client to 20 others

Here is how that looks:

The cpu load fluctuates in the 50..85% range and everything works nicely.

The same codebase is used on mobile devices, which allows Loudtalks enabling push-to-talk on the old Windows Mobile communicators with 200 MHz cpu and consume less power on the modern ones.

Loudtalks on Twitter

By Alexey Gavrilov on May 18, 2009

Are you a Twitter user? You can follow Loudtalks’s releases and “behind the scenes” updates at http://twitter.com/loudtalks then!

10,000

By Alexey Gavrilov on December 20, 2007

Today, three months from the first public appearance at TechCrunch40 we reached an important milestone of 10,000 registered users.

I want to thank these brave people for helping us. It takes courage to try the new software, which challenges existing communication tools with multi-million user bases.

We try to work up to your expectations. Over that time we went through 13 releases, fixing bugs and gradually improving usability. I really hope we are heading in the right direction. If you think we are not — give us a punch, we are listening.

Here is what expected in the coming releases:

  • Automatic updates support
  • Support of TCP-only transport
  • Support of operation through a proxy
  • Incoming messages and statuses history (think twitter timeline)
  • Improved GUI (slimmer main window, compact contacts mode)

We also keep on adding new UI languages. Right now Loudtalks is available is English, Russian, German, Spanish, Finnish and Chinese.

Nominate Loudtalks for The Crunchies

By Alexey Gavrilov on December 6, 2007

Crunchies2007We decided that it would be cool to nominate Loudtalks for one of The Crunchies awards.

If you think we deserve it, please support us by clicking on that cheesy round button on the left and entering “loudtalks” into “Best Bootstrapped Start-up” category. You may nominate us into different categories as well :)

Thanks!

Why Loudtalks is faster

By Alexey Gavrilov on November 27, 2007

We often mention that Loudtalks is faster than alternatives. What exactly do we mean? One meaning is that it’s lightweight, uses very little system resources and will work fine on older PCs too.

More importantly, it allows to communicate faster by skipping through the clutter and giving the ability to speak the very same moment you decided to say something.

Consider you want to ask co-worker a quick question. Here is how the timeline would look if you use Loudtalks, phone call (i.e. Skype), and an instant messenger (i.e. ICQ):

Speed comparison

Loudtalks wins this case because it offers “always on” voice channel, without overhead associated with a phone call ritual.

« Previous Entries