During Google I/O, the Moutain View based company’s annual developer conference held in May this year, the search giant unveiled two new communication apps: Allo and Duo. Allo is a messaging app with great assistant-like features and Duo is a video calling app. Duo is now available for download on both Android and iOS.
Due is a simple 1-to-1 video calling app made for mobile and does not work on desktop. The design is simple and elegant. After downloading the app, it asks you to register with your mobile phone number, a marked departure from other Google apps where you can sign in with your Google ID. Once you register, you can see your contact list and call those who have Duo with a single tap.
For many in India, who have unreliable and choppy data connections, Duo is the perfect video calling app. Call quality automatically adjusts depending on your bandwidth, the resolution gets adjusted to ensure you never miss out on anything. The app also switches automatically between WiFI and mobile data, thereby ensuring that you get the best speed and quality. The app also comes with a special feature called Knock-Knock. Before you pick up the video call, you can see a live video preview of what the person calling you is doing. He/she could be waving, making faces or having a surprise. Privacy is paramount and all calls and encrypted end-to-end. Knock-Knock too is only available when a contact is saved. If you don’t like Knock-Knock, you can switch it off.
The experience on iOS though is a little different. Knock-Knock is not available as Apple does not gives apps access to the lock screen on iOS. Even when you receive a call, you will first have to unlock your device. Apple offers FaceTime, it’s own 1-to-1 video calling service for iOS and MacOS users. While Duo is only available for mobile phones, FaceTime is available on the iPhone, iPad and Mac.
In 2011, Google had launched Google+ with Hangouts being a special feature. With limited success, Google spun out Hangouts as a separate property. Hangouts will still exist as an offering for enterprise and will be linked to a user’s Google account. Hangouts-On-Air, the live multi-party broadcasting tool will be moved to YouTube Live from 12th September 2016. Google will soon release Allo, its mobile only messaging app with really cool artificial intelligence features.
Duo enters an already crowded market. With players like Skype, SnapChat, FaceTime, JioChat, Hike and more, Duo will have to carve a niche for itself and fight on its own merits. This is a bold move for Google as it attempts to catch up on messaging.
This app is highly recommended as it takes the pain away from video calling. With a phone number and simple interface, you can instantly connect with anyone without the hassle of poor networks. Download it today and see for yourself.