Friday, July 18th, 2014 .

Like most people in the age of planes and the internet, UberConference and its users live international lives (UberConference is available on every continent [OK, maybe all except Antarctica]).

Sometimes, though, you need to meet in person, which means you have to hop on a plane and travel. Here are some of our favorite Google Chrome Store apps for traveling.

Duolingo

We’ve found that before you head to a new country, learning the language helps you communicate better with the people who live there. The Wall Street Journal said that Duolingo is “Far and away the best free language-learning app.” Duolingo gamifies learning another language, giving you lives and points, like your favorite gaming app. The effect is that Duolingo feels less like a class and more like Candy Crush. Buona Fortuna, amici.

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TouristEye Planner

True, you are getting on that plane for business, but what’s a business trip without a little sightseeing? It’s pretty brutal. TouristEye Planner syncs all of your travel arrangements to help you plan your itinerary, letting you know what is nearby. There are also tours and itineraries created by experts and other users: one-day itineraries, shopping tours, tours to bike, gastronomic tours, best cheap eats, etc. One of the coolest features is the ability to synchronize your trip with your Android or iPhone to have your itinerary 100% offline, maps included! That means no getting lost because your carrier has a dark spot in Kiev.

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Expensify

Undoubtedly, one of the worst parts of business travel is filling out your expense report. With Expensify, all you have to do is take a picture and smartscan uploads your receipts and corresponding information. Your office manager and you will thank Expensify after every trip.

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Monday, November 18th, 2013 .

UberConference was proud to be a host for the second annual OpenCo festival in San Francisco.  OpenCo, an innovation themed open house hosted in four major cities, allows community members to get a peek into how local companies are breaking new ground.  Craig got a great reception as he shared how our corporate culture fosters creativity.

“OpenCo is a great opportunity to showcase how culture, collaboration and hard work play together in building a successful, thriving environment of creative thought and innovation,” said Craig Walker.

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 .

#techplantssf-uberconference#techplantssf-treeplanting-sanfrancisco-tech

UberConference is proud to announce our partnership with Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) for #TechPlantsSF. The goal of this effort is to involve members of the Bay Area tech community in improving San Francisco greenery. SF has only 13.7% tree canopy coverage, ranking 17th among the 20 most populous U.S. cities. Trees are a vital part of what makes the urban ecosystem work, and UberConference is committed to improving the community in which we live and work. We carry this passion into our partnership with FUF.

Friends of the Urban Forest has cared for San Francisco’s trees since 1981. Their mission is to promote a larger, healthier urban forest as part of San Francisco’s green infrastructure through community planting, tree care, education, and advocacy. Since 1981, FUF has planted more than 47,000 trees, totaling 43% of San Francisco’s street tree canopy.

The team at UberConference first became involved with FUF this April at a neighborhood tree planting. Joined by partners at Google, Twitter, Dropbox, YouTube, and Yammer, employees from our team are inspired to help the non-profit raise money and awareness for their mission. If you are interested in participating in this great program, visit the official #TechPlantsSF website to donate and learn more about the initiative.

There will be a welcoming reception on September 3rd hosted by our friends at Twitter. (RSVP by August 26th if you are interested in attending.)

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 .

Brian Peterson is VP of Product Engineering and co-founder at Switch Communications, specializing in web development, cloud services and databases. Before Switch Communications, Brian was at Google for eight years, where he spent most of his time working on the Google Voice team and leading the transition of GrandCentral’s technology onto Google’s infrastructure.  

Brian Peterson and John Rector, co-founders of Switch Communications

We built both UberConference and Switch.co on Google Cloud Platform using WebRTC. Our goal from the beginning was to bring innovation to some of the obvious problems with conference calls and business phone systems, making them relevant and useful again. We wanted to develop our products for the way we work today — faster, more mobile, and across multiple platforms and devices. WebRTC helped us do that.

WebRTC is a free, open project that enables web browsers (right now, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera) with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities.

Why is that cool?

It’s cool because it’s a way to get very high-quality, secure VoIP to your browser (for free), without having to install any extra plug-in.

WebRTC uses the Opus Codec, which offers the best audio experience out there. Not only does it give your Switch.co and UberConference calls HD audio, but it also handles dynamic network conditions by adjusting to the available bandwith wherever you are.

UberConference was one of the earliest WebRTC adopters, launching at Google I/O in 2013 — just one week after Google released it. With WebRTC implemented into UberConference, our users can connect to their calls in real-time without having to leave their browsers and make international calls through the browser at no cost.

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For similar reasons, Switch.co uses WebRTC for voice communication through your desktop. It’s available without any extra software across Windows, Mac, Chromebooks, and even Linux, and because of its cross-platform capabilities, WebRTC allowed us to deploy the Switch.co native app instantaneously across all platforms, instead of having to build separately for each one. It allows for a more streamlined experience for developers, but also lets us roll out the app faster for users on any platform.

Because Switch.co is a Chrome web app, WebRTC is already built in and users only need to have Chrome to use it. Just like with UberConference, it gives Switch.co users HD audio and lets them call internationally for free when making and answering calls from the desktop.

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WebRTC is game changing, and it’s paving the way for whole new types of web applications like Switch.co and UberConference. We do our best to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to advancing the quality and accessibility of our products, and as the WebRTC standard becomes available in more browsers, we plan to build accordingly.