Google’s video chatting app, Duo, is finally here
Google announced in a blog post on Monday that their new video chatting app, Google Duo, is now available on both Android and iOS. The company unveiled this app during this year’s Google I/O conference alongside it’s counterpart, Google Allo, a new messaging app, which we havent heard anything about since it’s announcement. Allo and Duo seem to be focused on taking down Apple’s very popular FaceTime and iMessage, and seems to have a good shot at doing exactly that, as these apps are cross-platform, while Apple’s apps are still proprietary to their devices.
Duo is a simple, barebones 1:1 video chatting app which means you wont be able to group chat like you could on Skype, or even Google’s own Hangouts. Google says “Duo takes the complexity out of video calling, so that you can be together in the moment wherever you are,” which likely means the simplicity is here to users who don’t care about all the mumbo jumbo found in Skype or Hangouts and just wish to have an app that does video calls exclusively. However, for users who like the complexity of Hangouts, it seems the service will be focusing more on business customers from now on.
With Duo you only need a phone number to use the service, and the main difference to other video chatting apps is the “Knock Knock” feature which gives you a live preview of the caller before you pick up so you get a sense of what they’re up to. Google says this feature was designed to make video calls more welcoming than obtrusive and of course this feature can be disabled in the settings. They also note that Duo was built to be fast and reliable, meaning calls connect quickly and transitioning from Wi-Fi to Cellular Data will be done seamlessly, and in terms of security calls will be end-to-end encrypted.