Push Notifications / Talkatone 2.0

Push Notification Settings
Up until today Talkatone solely relied on special “VoIP” backgrounding mode introduced in iOS4. It has several positive things (as app is running during the call it takes much faster to answer the call, it gives better flexibility on implementing features like per-contact ringtones etc). However despite having all those great things, solely relying on VoIP backgrounding has few drawbacks:

  1. To free up resources to foreground app (especially for games and browsing of heavy web sites), iOS may kill backgrounded apps.
  2. . To save battery power iOS wakes up backgrounded app once in 10 minutes to check connection. So, if you are not so lucky, call may be missed due to this specific.
  3. If you reboot your device, iOS supposed to re-start all backgrounded apps which were running just prior to shut down, however, sometimes this process may fail. So if you forget to open Talkatone after reboot of iPhone/iPod/iPad – you can miss calls.

So, to address those problems with VoIP backgrounding, we implemented Push Notifications in Talkatone 2.0 to supplement existing VoIP backgrounding mode.
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Simultaneous Ringing

We had receiving inquiries from number of users who use Talkatone on multiple devices simultaneously: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android phones and tablets.

And many of those users were upset by default Google Chat behavior which is ringing only one connected device at the time.
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Dynamic Forwarding Control

Quite a few of power Talkatone users asked us setup advise on how they can configure Google Voice account so the call will go to Talkatone first and only if Talkatone is not available would go to direct mobile number.
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Adding new features (Battery saving mode, server-side SMS processing, push for iOS, etc) and Gmail security.

As many users were expressing concerns through various channels about features Talkatone lacks and what should be improved we started to work on this wish list.

At first we implemented so called “Battery Saving” mode for iOS which is designed to significantly reduce battery usage on iOS, while application runs in background. In this mode Talkatone app connects to one of Talkatone servers, which access your Google Chat (part of GMail) and Google Voice accounts on your behalf as long as you stay connected. This helps to skip data which is not needed by the app in background: friends list, friend status updates, inquiries by other chat clients about features supported by the Talkatone app (server can respond itself to these inquiries) and excessive amount of “Keep Alives” sent by Google servers to check that connection is still alive.

Our servers can control what data is sent to a client, when and how often device should stay in the sleep mode as long as possible. According to a research made by Apple, it’s way more efficient to process one big chunk of data at once rather than many smaller pieces spreaded over time.

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Photo sharing and next steps

When we launched Talkatone almost a year ago it was viewed as a social phone. A product which allows you to have all your friends on one mobile device, call and text them, share photos.

Since the very first release back in November 2010 we’ve seen phenomenal initial growth and received tons of positive feedback from our users. Today I’m proud to announce that the final block of our early concept is here. You can share photos with your friends in Talkatone. Read more of this post

Talkatone 1.0 with Facebook Calls and native iPad interface

Hi Talkatoners! You’ve spoken, and we’ve listened! The Wait is Over! The all new Talkatone 1.0 comes to the iPad and iPad 2. Built-in Facebook Calling and Facebook Chat, as well as improved Google Talks and Google Voice integration can only mean one thing: your contacts will never be out of reach, everything at your fingertips. Read more of this post

Story behind v0.9.7.5

Talkatone is updated again. About a week ago Google started to migrate to a new call format. Although at this point this change affects a browser-based calling only it may start affecting other clients as well.

In order to guarantee that Talkatone users won’t have issues with the calls we decided to issue an update and added support for a new call format. NOTE: previous versions don’t support new call format and may stop working when Google migrates to it. Read more of this post

Talkatone audio compression FTW

Back in March we started to work on call quality improvements and introduced audio compression layer. Initially it was available as part of the Talkatone Premium services because we needed controlled environment to make sure this new layer is stable, consistent and extremely fast.

We made a number of improvements to make sure that in most cases Talkatone audio compression technology significantly improves call quality and consumes less bandwidth. Talkatone users gave us a lot of feedback and helped to make this technology ready for prime time. Today we are making it audio compression enabled by default for all users on both WiFi and 3G connections. Read more of this post

Talkatone is updated – custom ringtones and improved audio

Since we launched our feedback forum on Uservoice we got a bunch of product ideas. Some of them are big and require a lot of time to implement. Others can be done fairly quickly along with planned updates.
Talkatone v0.9.7.2 brings you call improvements, custom tunes and user interaction enhancements.
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Non-working “iPhone Persistent WiFi” mystery solved

As many of you know Talkatone uses new iOS4 “VoIP backgrounding” mode to keep you connected and always online.

Note: This requires multitasking-capable devices: Read more of this post


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