Google Duo is about to become a more pervasive part of the Android experience as Google makes it the default video calling platform for a host of devices, including all Pixel phones, Nexus devices, and even Android One smartphones.
Google Duo Becomes A Part Of Android
Google announced on Wednesday, Oct. 11, that it's rolling out integrated Duo video calling for the aforementioned devices. Going forward, all supported phones will use Google Duo for video calling through the Phone app, Contacts app, and even the default Android Messages app. This means that users don't have to open up the standalone Google Duo app to place video calls, as it's now the default service for that kind of functionality.
In the Contacts app, there's now a simple video call button beside users. In Android Messages, meanwhile, the app detects any contact who has Google Duo installed and adds a simple shortcut beside their name to place a video call.
Duo Supports ViLTE Video Calls
It's not just Duo doing all the work, however, because there are other technologies working behind the scenes too. Those who try to reach someone on a carrier that supports ViLTE technology, for example, will be automatically directed through the carrier's dedicated ViLTE pipeline, allowing for faster, clearer reception.
This kind of integration isn't really much of a surprise, but it's still nice to see that Google has finally decided to make it official. Even nicer is the fact that Google is apparently working to bring this to other smartphones as well via partnerships with manufacturers and various other carriers. What this means is that it's safe to assume that Google will soon require device partners to have Duo included out of the box, like many of its other apps.
"We're starting to roll out integrated video calling to first-generation Pixel, Android One, and Nexus devices, and it will also be available on Pixel 2 phones," Google announced. "We're working with our carrier and device partners to bring this experience to more Android devices over time."
As Digital Trends reports, Google said it'll soon add the ability to switch between audio-only and video calls, but not for "months." Also, those under carriers that don't support ViLTE will be encouraged to download the stand-alone Duo app instead.
But even if it's not perfect currently, this move still represents a major development for Google, which has long wobbled indecisively on whether it wants to add a FaceTime-like feature to Android.
Google's Other Plans For Duo
Google also plans to add another feature later this year that'll allow users to upgrade audio calls to video with just a single tap.