Google Duo – Google’s video calling app goes live, will take on Skype, FaceTime
Google Duo – Google’s video calling app goes live, will take on Skype, FaceTime

Google Duo – Google’s video calling app goes live, will take on Skype, FaceTime

Google’s Duo, a video calling app for one-on-one interactions, is now live. Google had announced Duo and Allo (a new messaging app) at the annual I/O conference in 2016. Google Duo is a cross-platform app, which will work on Google’s Android operating system as well as Apple’s iPhones. Users will need only their mobile number to sign into Google Duo.

The search engine giant’s Video Calling App-Duo- isn’t much different from the other popular video calling services, including Apple’s FaceTime, Microsoft’s Skype and Facebook’s Messenger app, except that it gives a glimpse at who is making the call, helping the recipient decide whether to answer. Google calls this feature, “Knock knock.”

On Android, the ‘Knock Knock’ feature works on the locked screen where users can get a live video preview of the incoming call. On iOS, Knock Knock doesn’t work on locked screen, but the live video preview can be seen if a user has the app open.

Google Product Manager Amit Fulay believes Duo has more than a chance in the competitive market of video-calling apps. “Video-calling is the next big thing, but it has been full of friction in terms of user experience, and there are trust issues. You need a good network, a good time to do a video call. So we decided to create an app that is really simple and felt inviting. With Duo, we want to make it as simple as voice-calling,” says Fulay. He points out that unlike FaceTime, Duo works across Android and iOS, and has a seamless transition from cellular to WiFi.

On the network efficiency of Google’s Video Calling App, Google’s Product Manager says “our app is reliable across networks, and works across platforms. So if your network is not that good, it will adjust the video definition accordingly, and Duo is smart enough to adapt to these conditions.”

Google’s Video Calling App is being billed as a simpler, more reliable way to see friends and family as you talk to them. Other than the simple interface for Google Duo, Fulay also says it is not a data hog. “The default settings limit data usage on this app, and we’ve tried to optimise data consumption,” he adds.


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