December 07, 2012, 12:22 PM — Longtime users of Ubuntu Linux may already be familiar with open source Ekiga, which used to be the default Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) client in that popular Linux distribution, but late last month the telephony software got a major update.
This is a major release with many major improvements, wrote the software's developers in the announcement last week on the project site.
Here's a rundown of some of the highlights.
A brand-new interface
At the top of the list of the changes in Ekiga 4.0 is a completely new user interface, the developers say, featuring an improved roster, a separate call window, and improved chat and accounts windows. The screenshot above offers a taste of the new GUI.
Ekiga 4.0 also offers faster startup than its predecessor did, and the software's GNOME 3 integration has been improved with better notifications and removal of the tray icon.
A new PulseAudio plugin has been added to Ekiga along with new audio codecs such as SILKwhich is used by SkypeG.722.1 (also known as Siren 7), and G.722.2 (a.k.a. GSM-AMR Wide band). New H.264 optimizations have been added as well.
Rounding out the list of key new features are call auto-answer, partial support for handling multiple video streams, improved audio accuracy on select audio cards, and a variety of usability and interoperability fixes.
Microsoft has surprised many in the Linux community by continuing to update Skype for Linux, and of course we now have offerings including Google+ chat and hangouts and Google Talk with video as well.