Circles Now in Google Voice; Esperanto Now 64th Google Translate Supported Language; VP8 'Evergreen' Hardware Encoder Released

In order to help make it easier to organize contacts, Google is adding Google+ Circles to Google Voice. "Circles give you more control over how you manage your callers; for example, calls from your "Creepers" circle can be sent straight to Voicemail, only your "College Buddies" circle will hear you rap your voicemail greeting, or […]

Google+ Circles added to Google VoiceIn order to help make it easier to organize contacts, Google is adding Google+ Circles to Google Voice. "Circles give you more control over how you manage your callers; for example, calls from your "Creepers" circle can be sent straight to Voicemail, only your "College Buddies" circle will hear you rap your voicemail greeting, or you can set your "Family" circle to only ring your mobile phone," informs Google.

You can customize your Circles settings by visiting the Groups & Circles tab in your Google Voice settings.

In other Google news, Google added "Esperanto" to Google Translate, making it the 64th supported language.

"Esperanto and Google Translate share the goal of helping people understand each other, this connection has been made even in this blog post. Therefore, we are very excited that we can now offer translation for this language as well," blogged Google.

"The Google Translate team was actually surprised about the high quality of machine translation for Esperanto. For Esperanto, the number of existing translations is comparatively small. German or Spanish, for example, have more than 100 times the data; other languages on which we focus our research efforts have similar amounts of data as Esperanto but don't achieve comparable quality yet. Esperanto was constructed such that it is easy to learn for humans, and this seems to help automatic translation as well," Google said.

VP8 Evergreen Hardware Encoder ReleasedThe fifth generation of the widely adopted H1 hardware encoder for VP8, internally known as "Evergreen", has become available for licensing today -- focused on improving the real-time communication features and on optimizing the encoding speed and visual quality.

In particular, "we've now enabled temporal and spatial scalability for VP8 video coding, a valuable feature for live streaming, multi-way video conferencing and security applications," informs Google.

The Evergreen release includes the following new features:

  • Up to four layers of temporal scalability (e.g. 60, 30, 15, 7.5 fps)
  • Integrated image downscaler for spatial scalability in VP8 simulcasting
  • Support for up to four DCT partitions for faster multicore CPU decoding
  • Adaptive golden frame period and quantization
  • Improved chrominance intra prediction
  • Improved mode selection with multiple QP segments
  • Rate-distortion optimization for both PSNR and SSIM
  • Real-time frame PSNR feedback

More technical details are available at the WebM Project's hardware page.