Google Duo is the latest offering from Google which is a simple video-calling app that is available for both Android and iOS beginning August 16, 2016. Duo is one of the two communication apps announced by Google earlier this year at its I/O conference alongside the forthcoming messaging app Allo.
To a certain extent, it is Google’s answer to Apple’s FaceTime. It also makes one on one calling between Android phones and from iPhone to Android very easy. Although it differs from FaceTime which is inbuilt in iPhones, it is still an intuitive app to use and both parties have to download the app to begin chatting.
While iPhone owners may stick to FaceTime for a while, Android users will possibly enjoy calling their friends via Duo. Nonetheless, Google Duo may certainly become iPhone users’ go-to app when calling their Android buddies.
With that said, here are its main highlights:
You’ll see previews with Knock Knock
Knock Knock is Google Duo’s unique feature. It fires up the camera on the end of the line and gives you a preview of who is calling. If you are ushering in the call, you will find a little notice that says that your video is visible. This means that the other person can see what you are doing right at that moment in real time. Regardless of whether Duo is opened or not (like on the lock screen), Android users can still see Knock Knock. However on the iPhone you will only see it if you are logged into the app. You will get a little notification otherwise saying someone is calling you.
Google’s rationale for this is that Knock Knock already gets you smiling before the call starts. Of course, that’s assuming you actually like/want to speak to the other person who is on the other line. Seeing family members on the other line? That gets me smiling. Seeing the face of my boss? Mmm, not so much (see below). Editor’s Note from said boss: “Hmph.”
You can disable Knock Knock
You don’t have to worry about seeing anything you don’t want to from the other line by the way. Knocks Knocks can only be received from people who are already in your contact list. Individual people can also be blocked from calling you. (In passing, the person who has been blocked won’t know that on Duo. They’ll just hear your line ring continuously when they call.)
You can disable Knock Knock altogether if it is not really your thing. You can do so by going to Duo’s Settings menu.
However, you cannot disable it on a person-to- person basis. Therefore it is either Knock Knock or nothing.
Its interface is super simple
Google Duo has an unbelievably user-friendly and instinctual interface. You will see icons to begin a video call and your recent contacts (unfortunately, there is no audio-only option) before you start a call. You will see yourself in a small little circle during a call. There will also be icons to mute audio, switch cameras and hang up. Similar to FaceTime, video from the other line fills up your screen. If you’d rather have your camera fill up the screen (for example, you’re touring a house to the person on the other line), just tap the preview circle and your view will switch.
It’s different than Hangouts (no, really)
Now you might be curious about how Duo is different from Google’s other video-calling service Hangouts. You are definitely not alone if you think the company has way too many communication tools. Howeveer as per Google, Duo is supposedly way more specialized. While Hangouts supports messaging and group chats, can be used on desktops and has multi-way video for collaboration (and these extra features are reflected on its interface), Google Duo does only one thing solely: video calls on your tablet or smartphone.
Duo reaches people through their phone numbers unlike Hangouts which does so via their Gmail. Users won’t have to log into their Google accounts or sign up for a new service apart from downloading the app. And the best difference between it and Hangouts? It uses end-to- end encryption, so your data can’t be viewed from third parties or even Google itself.
How to Download Google Duo App Step by Step:
#Step 1: Go to Play Store or App Store
#Step 2: Search for Google Duo App
#Step 3: Download/Install the Duo App For Free
#Step 4: Enter Your Mobile Number and Verify It
It works only as well as your connection
Not unexpectedly, the app works pretty smoothly if your Wi-Fi or data connection is good. When we tested it while the coverage was strong people looked clear and their voices were legible. We experienced some lag from time to time, but it usually lasted just a few seconds.
However, on a weaker Wi-Fi network, one of our teammates was extremely pixilated. His face just ended up looking real blur although the audio came in clear. However, his image cleared up after he switched to a stronger Wi-Fi network and the conversation was stable.
You might actually want to use it At a time when there is immense competition around video-calling apps, Google Duo is entering a crowded industry. It is competing not just against the likes of Facebook Messenger and Skype but even Google itself with Hangouts.
All three of these competing apps do much more than simply one-to- one video calls. For example, they support messaging and you can start video calls with multiple people. Plus, with Messenger, you don’t need a Facebook account (a phone number will suffice).
However, Duo wasn’t created to be an all-in- on communication platform; doing so would make it difficult to use.
Google’s rationale is that when a person decides to video chat with a friend, he would rarely want to twirl to messaging or group chats anyhow.
Due to offering just the bare bones, Google Duo can provide a tousle-free and solid video calling service. Users can benefit from this singular calling functionality wherein they wouldn’t be required to sign into another account or make sure that their buddy has the same service. In addition, you conversations are protected from prying eyes with end-to- end encryption. Hangouts and Skype aren’t secure that way and although Messenger has started testing end-to- end user privacy, it hasn’t rolled it out yet.
Loyal iPhone users may still continue to use FaceTime but Google Duo certainly bridges the gap between iOS and Android.
Image Source: Google Images
Google Duo App Features:
- Fast on Slow Networks
- Based on your phone number works on Android and iOS
- All calls are end-to-end encrypted
- You can with one touch
- Easiest interface to understand
Google’s New App Duo Makes Video Calling Easy
Video Source: Techcrunch
For Android Download Google Duo From Play Store: Click Here
For iOS Download Google Duo From App Store: Click Here