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Google Adds Voice-Only Calls To Duo And File Sharing To Allo

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There are now added reasons for users to download both Duo and Allo, Google's proprietary messaging platforms — the former specifically for video calling, the latter for messages replete with stickers, GIFs, emoji, and the smart-as-ever Assistant thrown in.

With Messenger, WhatsApp, Google's own Hangouts, and other similar platforms currently on the market, all of which are already with their respective significant audience sizes, it's difficult, even for Google, to win some users and convince them to make space on their smartphones for two new apps with features already present in others.

Google Duo Voice-Only Calls

Be that as it may, Google is still intent on supporting its two new messaging apps, gifting it new features it hopes users will appreciate enough to go ahead and download both.

Duo will finally gain the ability to place voice-only calls, which is a smart solution for those not fortunate enough to have stellar network speeds in their homes. Since video calls eat a lot of data, a voice-only option is almost the only viable option for some users.

Google notes that the voice-only calls will work "well on all connection speeds" in addition to being data efficient. It's also very simple to work with. As reported by 9to5Google, swiping down on Duo's main screen will reveal an option to toggle audio or video. Choosing audio will bring up a screen where users can start placing calls. The feature is launching in Brazil first and the rest of the world in the next few days, both for Android and iOS.

Google Allo File-Sharing

Google is also adding file sharing features to Allo. Highly requested in countries such as Brazil, the feature lets users share files and documents in group chats. They can send the following file formats: .pdf, .docs, .apk, .zip, and .mp3.

In addition, Allo is also gaining a new Smart Smiley feature, which leverages machine learning to help determine which is the right emoji to use in a given context. As such, tapping the new icon will provide suggestions as to what emoji and stickers fit the situation.

File sharing has rolled out for all Allo users around the globe, while the Smart Smiley feature is launching exclusively in Portuguese in Brazil.

Faster Backups In Google Photos

Google also conjured up another solution for those who use its Photos app but are under slow network speeds. When not connected to Wi-Fi, the app will automatically save photos in a lightweight preview quality initially. Later on, when the user is finally able to connect to a Wi-Fi network, Photos will replace the low-quality images with full, high-quality versions.

Both the iOS and Android version of the app will undergo a similar process when sending photos to friends — initially pushing them a lower-resolution image before sending the higher-quality version when a strong network signal is detected.

Google has been a bit busy these past few days, first adding a location-sharing feature to Maps, then releasing the first developer preview of Android O. Its recent string of updates hopefully signal that the company will continue providing steadier updates moving forward.

Thoughts about Duo and Allo's new features? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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