Google Duo now makes it easier to share what's happening on a user's screen with others. The video chat app's latest version now supports screen sharing, which, as the name implies, gives users the ability to share their smartphone's screen during calls.
Google has long reserved this feature for the web version of Hangouts, so this marks the first time it's appeared on mobile devices. The benefits of screen sharing vary, but its most convenient for, say, tech support.
How To Start Screen Sharing On Google Duo
To access the feature, start a video call with another user. On the call screen, there's a new icon above the microphone mute and front/rear camera toggle. Tapping this brings up a prompt that says, "Duo will start capturing everything that's displayed on your screen." Users can either "Cancel" or "Start Now." This confirmation will come up for each screen sharing session unless the user specifically selects the "Don't show again" option.
Once enabled, users will immediately be taken to their homescreens. A pill-shaped icon located at the top right area allows the user to pause or resume recording, and another button next to it ends screen sharing and takes back the user to the Duo call. An orange outline around the screen indicates that the app is recording, while a blue one indicates that recording is paused.
Google Duo Screen Sharing Bugs
As Engadget notes, the feature is not without flaws. At the current version of Duo, screen sharing is still buggy and doesn't work as intended, at least not all the time. In one example, one user saw a gray screen instead of their friend's screen; in another example, the other user just saw a frozen image of the caller's display.
There's no denying the potential usefulness of this feature, but it's clear Google still has to iron out a lot of kinks before rolling this out widely. Unfortunately, if it's not working as described, then the best thing one could do is wait for an update that hopefully fixes the issues.
Screen sharing is included with version 34 of Google Duo, now gradually rolling out. It's not clear if this feature is still in beta given the freezing and gray screen issues some users have encountered, but expect Google to release patches going forward to further optimize it.
Do you find the idea of screen sharing on Duo useful? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!