Google Duo has just launched on Android and iOS as a neat one-to-one video calling app, promising to make everything easier and more reliable.
While there are plenty of video calling apps out there, Google Duo is designed with speed in mind, being based on Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) and taking "the complexity out of video calling."
Google Duo is mobile-only and promises fewer dropped calls, whether you're on Wi-Fi or a cellular connection. Moreover, the app supports handing off calls when switching between Wi-Fi and cellular connections. It's also cross-platform, which means Android users can easily call iOS users and vice versa.
The new Google Duo is rolling out gradually, but should be live globally within a few days. Since the app bets big on simplicity, everything is easy with Google Duo - from beginning to end.
How To Use Google Duo
All you need to get started with Google Duo is your phone number and, of course, an Android or iOS smartphone with the app installed. You don't need a Google account or any other account to use it, and the user interface is clean, simple and straightforward. Once you sign up with your phone number, you'll be able to call people in your contact list and start a video call with just one single tap.
Everything is designed with simplicity in mind, so it takes one tap to start a call, one tap to answer a call, and so on. If you navigate away from a call, the video will automatically stop.
Speed And Reliability
Low-quality video calls are frustrating to say the least, especially when the video gets all "choppy" or calls fail to connect. Google Duo is designed to work well and maintain a good connection even on slower networks. To do so, it will adjust call quality depending on network conditions. If you have low bandwidth, for instance, Google Duo will automatically reduce the video resolution so it can keep you connected.
As previously mentioned, Duo will also switch between Wi-Fi and cellular networks with ease, so you can make video calls on the go without worrying about the hand-off to and from different networks.
Google also points out that it wants its Duo app to feel "warm and inviting," so it went for a "human design" that lets the user focus solely on themselves and the other person in the call. To make video calls more inviting and less of an interruption, Google designed Duo with a neat feature called "Knock Knock," which lets you see the caller on live video before you answer the call. According to Google, this gives you an idea of what the caller is doing and why they might be looking to chat so you get the overall picture before you actually take the call.
"Knock Knock makes video calling more spontaneous and welcoming, helping you connect with the person before you even pick up," touts Google.
Privacy And Security
Lastly, Google Duo leverages end-to-end encryption for extra privacy and security, encrypting all calls to keep them away from prying eyes (and ears). This should ensure that private conversations stay private and a video call between two people stays just between those two people, as it should.
Google Duo Availability
As previously mentioned, the app is only starting to roll out gradually, so it might take a few days for all Android and iOS users to be able to use it. For iOS, it might turn out to be a strong rival to Apple's FaceTime. Head over to iTunes or Google Play to see if it's available yet for your device.