Smartphones have completely revolutionized the way we communicate with one another over the past few decades, subsequently rendering cord-tethered landlines a thing of the past — for better or worse. Popular video calling apps like Skype, Facebook Messenger, and Apple’s Facetime, connect millions of people around the world instantly bridging the distance with a simple tap of a smartphone button.
With that in mind, Google has just unveiled another video chatting app called Duo which they claim provides the best and simplest one-to-one video calling service for any device. Local tech blogger Kevin Andrews is here with us this morning to give us some insight on this app to find if seeing with Duo is believing.
Google’s new app, Duo, is a simple video-calling service that’s available for Android and iOS. Alongside the upcoming messaging app Allo, it’s one of two new communication apps Google announced earlier this year at its I/O conference. In a way, it’s Google’s answer to Apple’s FaceTime, and it makes one-to-one calling between Android phones, and from Android to iPhone, very simple. It will use either your Wi-Fi or your data and just your phone number to locate or call other people with the app installed. Though both parties have to download the app to begin chatting (unlike FaceTime, which is baked into the dialer of compatible iPhones), it’s still a simple and intuitive app to use.
Duo’s unique feature is Knock Knock, which gives the receiver of the call a preview of who is calling. And so, if you’re initiating the call, you’ll see a little notice that says your video is visible, which means the other person can see what you’re doing while its still ringing on their end. Google’s rationale for this is that Knock Knock already gets you smiling before the call starts. This option can also be disabled as well, but it have proved very funny when people on the other end don’t know their video is live.
Another unique feature to this app is you don’t need a Google account, or any account for that matter to sign into this app to use it. All it needs is your phone number, it will then text you a confirmation number (so charges could apply if you don’t have any standard texting packages) for you to punch in and then your ready to use it. Like almost all other video chatting apps, it will ask for permission to use your camera and microphone along with permission to access your contacts. One last nice feature is Google claims that this app uses end-to-end encryption, which means your data and video calls can’t be viewed from third parties or even Google itself.
While Android users will likely enjoy using Duo to video-call all their friends, iPhone owners might not find it compelling enough to ring up fellow iPhone users since Apple’s Facetime video chatting app comes pre-installed and linked to their apple ID. However, it may certainly become a go-to app when you have an iPhone and you would like to call a friend who uses Android.
Meet Google Duo: