Google Updates Snow Leopard-specific Software, Google Earth and YouTube
Article by George Norman
On 23 Sep 2009
Several pieces of info from the Mountain View-based search engine giant’s court have come to my attention, and so I mashed them up in here. First of all, Google has updated its voice and video chat software for Mac OS X-powered machines to version 1.0.15 in order to address some compatibility issues with Snow Leopard, a.k.a Mac OS X 10.6. If you have Google’s voice and video chart software installed on your Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger or Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, it will be updated automatically.

If you have upgraded to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and are using a Google voice and video chat software older than version 1.0.15, you need to download the update (click here) and re-install the software. To check what Google voice and video chat software you have installed on your machine, go to the Gmail settings page -> under the Chat tab, under Learn More there’s the plugin version


Here are issues that were fixed in version 1.0.15 of the Google voice and video chat software, as detailed by Software Engineer, Justin Uberti:
Fixed problem where the Google Talk Plugin was not detected in Safari
Fixed problem where the Google Talk Plugin would delay system sleep by 30 seconds
Fixed problem where video would not be displayed in a video chat
Fixed problem where registration for automatic upgrades did not work
Fixed problem when uninstalling and reinstalling the same version

“If, after installing version 1.0.15, you continue to encounter issues with video not being displayed, a single reboot of your Mac should fix the problem. We are working with Apple to resolve this. If you are on 1.0.15 and experience problems, please report them [here],” added Uberti.

Moving on, Google Earth has been updated to version 5.1. The software is available for download to Windows, Mac OS X and Linux users alike. But what’s new in Google Earth 5.1? In one word: speed. Google Earth 5.1 is faster than previous versions because the development team made numerous changes under the hood.

Product Manager with Google Earth, Peter Birch, explains what these under the hood changes are: “Like improving memory utilization so we can show more buildings, layers, and user content. We improved our shaders to make the atmosphere draw faster. We also worked to reduce stuttering to provide an even smoother experience as you fly around the globe. When we draw imagery, we now use compression technology to use less memory and graphics resources. We improved our start-up time by 25%.”

Last but not least, Google, who owns YouTube, has implemented several changes to the popular video sharing webpage:
- New friend suggestions module on the homepage that displays videos suggestions from YouTube users you;ve shared videos in the past.
- Activity subscriptions: subscribing to someone means you will be notified of all the public actions (uploads, favorites, ratings, comments, and so on) that person does.
- The most popular videos are displayed on the Videos page.
- Sticky HQ: when you choose to see a video in high quality (HQ), all following videos will be presented in HQ as well.
- Show More Comments link replaces the old page-based system. Click the link and 10 more comments will be added to the list.
- New discovery features in Insight.
- If you watch a video for 25 minutes for example (the video is 40 minutes long) and you click away from YouTube, when you return the video playback will resume where you left off watching (in this case at the 25 minutes mark).
- Subscriptions for Shows and Movie Trailers.
- Poster art in Movies.

Tags: Google, Google voice and video chat software, Mac OS X 10.6, Snow Leopard, Google Eath, YouTube
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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