ScreenHero is a downloadable app for Windows and Mac computers that allows you to collaborate one-on-one on the same app with someone else at a distance.
ScreenHero has recently added full support for Windows PCs and it now integrates a voice feature allowing you also to talk with the person you are collaborating with.
Your login credentials and session data are fully encrypted using a P2P TLS scheme (SSL based).
ScreenHero operates as a P2P app, allowing parties to hook up directly to one another, and resorting to its centralized servers only when a direct connection is not possible for some reason.
My comment: An excellent screen-sharing tool for distributed teams. If you regularly operate with someone else at a distance and you need to easily and reliably share screens to see and edit drafts, mock-ups, presentations or code, ScreenHero is a great resource.
N.B.: If you are on a PC you will need a recent version of Windows, as PCs with Vista and earlier Windows versions are not supported.
appear.in is an easy to use video meeting system in your browser
Robin Good's insight:
Appear.in is a new free P2P video group chat and collaboration web app allowing you to instantly create a meeting room where anyone can be invited easily.
Appear.in leverages WebRTC technology now available via Chrome and Firefox latest browsers. The new technology allows for peer-to-peer direct collaboration with users connecting directly to each other without the need to go through centralized servers.
Screen-sharing, video and audio are all supported (the service is in full beta and it is possible that you will encounter bugs and issues in using it.)
Appear.in requires no registration, login or download. It's click and go from the very first time.
My comment: WebRTC looks very promising for real-time collaboration tools and appear.in is a live demonstration of it. Supereasy video conferencing without any tech hassles.
Editorially is a collaborative free online editor which focuses on making it easy to revise, modify and comment on any text. With a minimal and inobtrusive UI, Editorially shines when it comes to see different contributors edits to the same text or to compare different versions of a story by different editors.
To format text the Markdown annotation approach is used, freeing the user from having to deal with menus and buttons.
Editorially automatically saves new versions of your text and it makes it easy to go back and see every single revision and edit made.
It is possible to import plain text files and to export both Markdown and HTML. All mobile devices and screens are supported.
My comment: Elegant, simple, easy to use. It offers powerful revision features making a very good alternative to other collaborative editors.
PaddleOver is a free P2P, Bittorrent-based browser plugin which allows you to share, send and receive any kind of file of whatever size to anyone you want without having to first upload your file to a dedicated service and then waiting for the other party to download your file.
With PaddleOver you can share and invite one or multiple parties to your files in no time at all. Post to Facebook, Twitter or invite via email without limits to number of files shared, invitees, or file size.
MightyMeeting is a free HTML5 web app which allows you to present live on the web any PowerPoint or PDF file with the support of video-conferencing facility for up to six people and live annotation tools.
There is no limit to the number of participants you can invite as, MightyMeeting effectively downoads your presentation to each participant and then synchronizes your moves within it.
The host can decide whether video-conferencing is active or not, and whether other participants can contribute and upload their own files.
MIghtyMeeting presentations can be seen across all kind of devices, screen sizes and operating systems without issues.
A handy "portfolio" function allows the presenter to see all of the slides available next to the one being displayed.
*Videoconferencing, powered by WebRTC technology, works only with the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox.
My comment: Ready to use after 30 seconds of browsing. Super-easy, requires no downloads or plugins and works across all devices. A very handy collaboration tool.
Not recommended when presenting very large files and having other participants on a slow connection. On the desktop, if you use it in full screen, remember that you need to "swipe" with your mouse to move inside your presentation..
Biscotti is a multiparty HD videoconferencing system made up of a high-definition webcam to be placed over your HD large screen TV monitor and a conferencing service which allows you to call up to 25 other parties simultaneously.
The Biscotti base camera unit costs only $149, and for a limited time the multi-party video-conferencing service is completely free. (Here the alternative hardware options: http://www.biscotti.com/compare# ) Later on, after the launch phase, the videoconferencing service will cost $9.95/month.
The Biscotti video-conferencing system also hooks up to Google Talk allowing direct video calls to people on mobile phones too.
"Big screen, multiparty video conferencing no longer requires complex and expensive infrastructure investment. It's now as simple as purchasing a Biscotti camera and selecting your service plan."
SoShare is a free web service based on BitTorrent technology that allows you to send as many files as you want to anyone at no cost. The service allows for up to 1 TB in file size for each bundle you send. A bundle is made up by one or more files you want to share.
From GigaOM: "SoShare combines BitTorrent file transfer technology with cloud caching, making it possible for recipients to access the files even when the sender is offline."
To upload or download a file you need to install a browser plugin.
SoShare displays your file transfer progress, provides both a file deletion and a file expiration command (by default files transferred / shared via SoShare expire after 30 days), as well as social sharing buttons for any bundle sent.
Biba is an audio-conferencing and screen-sharing cross-platform software that works across desktop (Mac & PC), mobile and tablet devices (iOS & Android) making it easy to manage audio conference calls with multiple users connecting while on the move.
Biba automatically calls all participants at the right time, shows you name and last name of who is joining the call, and makes it easy to mute participants that have noisy backgrounds.
The audio quality is at 48kHz compared to the 16kHz of a traditional landline and during any call you can stat sharing any website, slide or document while all people attending, no matter on what kind of device can see what you are showing.
Sqwiggle is a new real-time collaboration platform which allows you to meet persistently and videoconference easily with your distributed team, as well as to have a group messaging stream that keeps you updated on everything happening.
Sqwiggle has been designed to be a persistent real-time collaboration tool, meaning, that it is ideally used to bring closer, as if they were side-by-side, teammates that work at different locations by remaining always-on and by making extremely easy to switch on the the audio-video communication.
This is why you can turn on Sqwiggle at 9am and switch it off when you go away, as it makes so easy for you to activate a video conversation with anyone of your teammates, while working at a distance.
My comment: I always thought that a persistent always-on collaboration space is the perfect way to work side-by-side when you have a distributed team, and so I wrote back in 2004 a short article entitled: Working side by side. It was 2004. Maybe I was a bit too ahead of my time. Sqwiggle may be much more in sync with the times than I was, and I would certainly recommend it to any team wanting to feel as if they were working at the same table.
N.B.: Sqwiggle comes both as a Mac app and a web-based service.
Browser-based real-time video group chat and screen-sharing.
Robin Good's insight:
Talky.io is a new free web app that allows you to videoconference and screen-share with your contacts easily.
There is no registration or login required. You simply name a collaboration room and you are instantly inside it. From there you can share the URL of your unique room with anyone you want to meet, and utilize both webcam and audio as well as screen-sharing facility to collaborate together.
Talky.io leverages WebRTC technology and it is only available if you use Chrome or Firefox.
Still in beta. May not work perfectly. In my brief test everything run smoothly and the quality of video and audio was particularly good. The only issue was a lack of sync between audio and video for my counterpart. On the other hand my video and audio were OK on his end.
Google has recently made available a new useful feature for Google Hangouts On-Air which offers the ability for users to field curated questions from an online audience.
The new feature provides event hosts with a set of controls that finally allows them to effectively manage questions coming in real-time from their audience.
This Google update allows for up to one million concurrent users to ask questions, and it also adds the ability for viewers to vote on questions they would like to see answered and it includes these additional features:
Solicit questions from up to a million concurrent viewers
Select and answer questions live
Timestamp the YouTube recording by marking questions as you answer them
Now, during a live Hangouts On-Air event when you select a question to be answered, it is highlighted for all users to see, and it also appears as a time-stamped note in recorded broadcasts. In this way viewers looking for specific content can jump to it instantly.
Open Meetings is an open-source server-based web conferencing and collaboration platform that works on multiple operating systems and which integrates audio and video conferencing, instant messaging, recording, whiteboarding, calendar and groupware facilities.
With the introduction of the WebRTC protocol, any browser wanting to become a vehicle for P2P real-time communications, that requires no software downloads or central servers, can now do so.
"In real terms, WebRTC enables features such as videochat, VoIP calling, and peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing, all within the browser."
One of the first apps taking advantage of the new protocol is Sharefest, an open-source browser-based app which allows you to send any file of any size to anyone that has its reference link. Just like a P2P torrent file the more people downloading it the easier and faster the transfer will be.
Sharefest essentially let's other people securely connect directly to your computer via the WebRTC protocol and to initiate a mesh, distributed file download that draws on your original file as well as on the parts of it already downloaded by others.
It goes without saying that you need to keep your computer on for this file transfer to take place unattended.
"Sharefest operates on a mesh network similar to BitTorrent and all transfers are executed peer-to-peer. Files can be shared with many people at once and the technology can swarm to speed up transfers, just like BitTorrent. It’s Open Source and apart from Chrome or Firefox, no additional software is required."
"Sure, you could use Dropbox, YouSendIt, or even BitTorrent sync to do the same thing, but with Sharefest there's no extra software to install; no account registration; there's no centrally located server on which file delivery depends. And once other users download the file, they can expand the network as well, providing additional peer-sharing power."
My comment: Excellent direct P2P file-sharing tool, has no limitations in terms of file size, speed or number of people that you can distribute it to. Super-easy to use, free and open-source. Hard to beat.
N.B.: Currently, it works only with files under 250 MB (MioBook reports)
Podio offers modular collaborative workspaces that can be customized to your specific needs by adding adn integrating your preferred collaboration apps, available in its dedicated app library.
The latest app addition is a free video and audio app which allows you to videoconference in real-time with any other Podio user (1-to-1).
From SmallBizTrends: "If you’re still searching for the right video conferencing service to interact with your business partners, your customers, and your suppliers, Podio has added a new Podio video conference feature you may want to consider.
Audio and video service was launched this week for Podio at no extra cost for users of the collaboration software whether you have a free or premium account. Anders Pollas, co-founder and product manager at Podio, introduced the new service recently on the official Podio blog.
There are at least 200,000 Podio clients already using the business collaboration platform. With the new video chat app, users will be able to interact with each other using video and audio. But that’s not all.
The workplace management and social site also recently added instant text messaging to go alongside its suite of other business apps already geared for group input and interaction."
Jamvee is a web-based video-conferencing app capable of interconnecting terminals and telepresence systems from different vendors together with PC, Mac and smartphone-based devices (iOS available, Android coming soon).
"Jamvee supports a wide range of cross-vendor videoconferencing equipment, across multiple standards (e.g. SIP, H.323, and H.320). This includes telepresence systems from Cisco/Tandberg, Polycom, and Lifesize, single-screen equipment, personal video terminals, together with soft-clients running on PCs and mobile devices, and anyone using the free Jamvee application."
"Just like an audio conference you can access host and participant PINs on the jamvee portal, and send the participant PIN to people you want to meet with. Participants can then use any existing video system or Telepresence room that they have access to, or they simply download the free jamvee™ app from the Apple App Store or the jamvee™ portal.
Everyone taking part in the meeting just dials the same number (or in the case of the jamvee™ app, presses the ‘Join Conference’ button) and enters their PIN to join the meeting - ensuring secure and private meetings both
within your business and across multiple organisations / parties."
Jamvee can manage up to 12 simultaneous video feeds and up to 720p video resolution (more detail).
The pricing model adopted comprises a number of bundle minute packages as well as an unlimited-minute solution. With Jamvee, the host pays for all the participants to the meeting and needs to calculate ahead of time how many conferencing-minutes he and his participants will consume in total.
RetroShare is a cross-platform, open-source, trusted and distributed P2P communication software and social sharing network.
Retroshare allows you to chat and share files of any size with your friends and family, using a web-of-trust to authenticate peers and OpenSSL to encrypt all communication.
RetroShare provides filesharing, chat, messages, forums and channels. Other key features include:
Serverless, completely decentralised
Multiple simultaneous downloads / uploads
Voice over IP
adding downloads via website links
UPnP / NAT-PMP port forwarding support
Graphical User Interface written with Qt4 toolkit
System tray integration
RetroShare has been inspired by the design of the Turtle algorithm:
"When designing Turtle, we were inspired by the way people living under oppressive regimes share information deemed "hostile" by their government (this can be books, newsletters, video and audio recordings, or even political jokes). Because of the potentially very serious consequences raising from being caught possessing/distributing such material, no single individual is willing to share it, except with close friends. Experience has repeatedly shown that, even in the most repressive environments, this "friends-to-friends" delivery network is remarkably effective in disseminating information, with relatively little risks for the participating parties; if one chooses his friends carefully, the chance of being caught doing the forbidden exchanges becomes very small."
Retroshare "... makes it difficult to intrude and hardly possible to monitor from an external point of view." This makes government monitoring and prosecution impossible beyond the will of Retroshare users
Kollaborate.io (previously CanvasDropr) is real-time visual collaboration platform that allows you to upload and share over 40 file types, straight from GDrive, Dropbox, Box, and to video chat, comment and annotate with your invited guests or openly with your fans.
Kollaborate.io provides an open, visual canvas in which you can upload or drag and drop most any type of file, and easily position it and size it. It is possible to add text to any part of the canvas or to use a line/free hand vector drawing tool to highlight certain elements.
The canvas memorizes all of the changes and modifications taking place and it allows to restore any previous element that has been deleted or changed. Each session and its related items is automatically saved into an archive.
The video-conferencing feature allows multiple participants to switch on their video feed and to make themselves seen during a session and it is supported by a text chat facility.
From a collaborative viewpoint, it is possible to create different teams, and to associate them to specific sessions and materials.
My comments: Cool and effective UI makes it easy to understand rapidly what is what. Canvas and image uploading is extremely effective and responsive. Moving and resizing elements on the canvas is also a breeze.
No common view with participants. They see the same objects but not your real time zooming or repositioning.
While I was testing I had problems inviting other people into both an Open and an Invitation-only event. Could be due to some bugs that need yet to be ironed out.
14-day free trial available.
Pricing starts at $9.99/mo for unlimited sessions / guests.
ReviewStudio is a web-based collaboration solution that makes it easy to review, present, markup and collaborate on video, images and PDF files.
Robin Good's insight:
ReviewStudio is a web-based collaborative app which allows you to upload video clips, PDF and image files that you want to be checked, commented and criticized by other people (teammates, clients, etc.).
ReviewStudio lets you annotate, markup, comment and review/approve any type of visual work, including frame-precise annotation on video footage.
File formats supported:
Images – PNG, JPEG and GIF
Single and multipage PDF files
Video – mp4, mov, ogg, webm, flv, avi, wmv, asf
MP3 Audio files.
With ReviewStudio it is possible to run live collaborative review sessions and to maintain a complete, searchable record of all content-related communications and activities that take place over the course of a project.
Formerly known as Cozimo, ReviewStudio is a very effective collaborative reviewing tool, providing an good set of markup tools and features that facilitate and speed-up the review and approval task.
To send large files, of any size and quantity to someone else, while having to wait to least time possible, Minbox offers a bullet-speed solution that's as fast and easy to use as it can get.
Minbox is a menu bar application (for Mac only - for now), which allows you to drag and drop as many files as you want, of any size - and to specify email addresses you want them to be delivered to. Click Send and it's done.
Minbox does not keep you waiting to upload your files and italso allows you to schedule delivery at a later time.
Free to use.
*(Pro version also available with extra security, privacy, infinite permanent storage for your files, and more.)