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Last week we had some fun pitching at Startup Camp
Today Zello disabled the Trending Channels display for many users. Unfortunately most US channels shown have so much profanity the app was not suitable for many who use it.
All the same channels are still available from search. We plan to restore the feature with reporting and filtering.
Try the new “Trending Channels” section to find interesting live channels. Just click the channel to listen in.
You’ll hear crude language and topics when browsing. Please send a list of any especially offensive channel to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll hide them from this list.
In the next release we’ll be adding user and channel profiles plus an report channel option for users. These should improve Channel browsing.
Trending Channels replace the Featured Channels list. The old approach sent everyone to a few channels. They became over-populated and often harsh. The new approach should give lots of healthy channels a chance to grow.
Channels will also get better with fewer disruptive “trolls” because they can’t keep creating accounts.
Trending channels is included in the iPhone 1.7 release and Android 1.36. It is not yet available for Blackberry or Windows.
Today’s New York Times has a nice review of Zello from David Pogue…
ZELLO WALKIE TALKIE This free app works on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows, which makes it far more useful than, for example, iPhone-only apps. The design is beautiful, simple and uncluttered — there aren’t even ads.
Like most of the best apps, Zello lets you create groups so that you can carry on something like a party-line phone call among a handful — or hundreds — of friends or collaborators. The company suggests, for example, that you can set up a Zello “room” for your company’s customers when they have questions.
What’s wild is that Zello comes prestocked with such channels from India, London, Toronto, Washington and so on. You sit there, jaw agape, and listen to people, in real time, from all over the world. You feel the same sense of wonder you felt when you were little and your dad took you down to his basement to listen to a ham radio.
Yesterday’s iPhone and Android Zello update makes it easy to share your Zello voice messages.
From message History, click Edit, select the messages, then click Share. You can share them with an email, sms, tweet or on Facebook.
Shared messages are on a page available for any mobile or desktop browser like this example.
Today’s Zello iPhone 1.4 update has a few improvements:
- Streamlined navigation and improved UI
- Improved VoiceOver support
- Stability improvements and bugfixes
- Partial support of the headset button to toggle talk
- Alerts have clickable links
- Bulgarian translation (contributed by Андреан Джамбазов)
- Italian translation (contributed by Danilo Bestagno)
- Polish translation (contributed by Paweł Masarczyk)
- Hebrew translation (contributed by שי)
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.
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.