Google Duo is Google’s video calling app, but given that video calls can take place anywhere and at anytime, sometimes quality can be less than stellar, especially if taken in low-light environments. Of course, this has to do with the camera hardware where some lenses allow for more light, but software plays a role too.
When Google announced Duo and Allo a few years ago, the differences between both apps is that one app was designed to be a messaging app (Allo), while the other was meant to be a video calling app (Duo). Google has since shut Allo down but it seems that the company could be slowly incorporating some messaging features into Duo.
Google Duo is the company’s answer to video calls. Previously Google had largely relied on Hangouts for video and audio calls, but with Hangouts now focused more on enterprise users, those who wanted to make video or audio calls over the internet had to use Duo (as one of the many alternatives).
A couple of years ago, Google launched new communication tools in the form of Allo and Duo. Allo (which will be shutting down) got its own web client where users could access their Allo messages on the web which allowed them to send and receive messages on their computers instead of their phone.
For a while it seemed like Google’s Allo was the company’s next attempt at creating a consumer-based chat client, with Hangouts being focused towards enterprise users. Google even went as far as creating a web client for Allo that allowed users to chat with each other from their computers.
Video calling apps aren’t exactly new. Skype offered up similar functionality for the longest time ever, then pretty much every messaging app such as WhatsApp, Messenger, LINE, and so on started to offer up similar features as well. However it turns out that Google’s Duo could be more popular than we thought in such a competitive space.
There are plenty of video calling apps in the market today, but yet Google felt compelled to launch its own in the form of Duo. The app is available on iOS devices as well which presumably has been created to compete against Apple’s own FaceTime feature, and the good news for iOS users is that the app has been updated to be optimized for use on the iPad.
While the touchscreen definitely changed the way we interact with our mobile devices, things have definitely changed in recent years as there seems to be an increasing emphasis being made on voice commands made to digital assistants such as Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, thus removing the need to physically interact with our devices.
Screen sharing is a useful feature to have if you’re trying to show someone something, or if you’re trying to help with something, like in technical support. Now there are a variety of ways for users to screen share their smartphones, but more recently Google has added the feature to its Duo app.
Software updates are usually a good thing because it can mean either introduction of new features, or improvements to existing ones, as well as potentially squashing bugs and also patching security vulnerabilities. Unfortunately updates do not always go as planned, such is the case with the latest update to Google’s Duo app.
With apps like Apple’s FaceTime, it can be used on multiple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and even Mac computers, which is kind of the point as it’s supposed to allow users to be reached across a variety of platforms. Duo, which seems to offer similar functionality, is pretty much limited to single devices.
If you wanted to call someone using WhatsApp’s voice/video calling feature, they would also need to have WhatsApp installed. This is same for other VoIP/messenger apps like Skype, Viber, and so on. This was also true for Google’s Duo app, at least until recently where it seems that Duo is now allowing users to make calls to non-Duo users.
At the moment Google’s video-calling app Duo is pretty much limited to mobile phones, which means that if you wanted to use it on a tablet, it’s not possible, at least not in an official capacity. However it seems that Google could be working on a way to bring Duo onto tablets, according to a recent tweet by one of the app’s developers.
With iOS devices, when you make a phone call using your iPhone, you also have the option to turn on FaceTime assuming that the other user has FaceTime enabled. This is something that Google is trying to do with Duo as we have seen from an previous APK teardown, where Google is looking to integrate Duo with Android’s Phone app.