Google Duo, a new video calling app has just been released today hitting the mobile app market of both the Android and iOS. The simple one-to-one video calling app was officially announced during the Google I/O 2016 event. The app supports cross platform video calling which enable users to call their friends whether they are using an Android or iOS device.
Duo uses a simple interface to make the video calls ready on a single tap. Users will just need to sign up using their mobile number to be able to reach with other people in their contacts list. It doesn’t require separate accounts which makes the initial setup quick and easy.
Google draws its inspiration on making the video calls feel more like an invitation rather than interruption. The app implements a unique feature called Knock Knock, which lets you see live video of the person who is calling before you decide to pick up the call. The video continues uninterruptedly once the call is answered.
“We designed Duo to feel warm and inviting, focused on just you and the person you’re calling. To make calls feel more like an invitation rather than an interruption, we created a feature in Duo called Knock Knock which lets you see live video of your caller before you answer, giving you a sense of what they’re up to and why they want to chat. Knock Knock makes video calling more spontaneous and welcoming, helping you connect with the person before you even pick up.” – Google blog press release
Duo is also built to be fast and reliable which makes video calls connect quickly and work well even on slower internet speed. The call quality automatically adjusts to keep up with the changing network conditions and to keep users connected. During the event of low bandwidth, the app will effectively reduce the resolution of the video in favor of the audio to keep the call go smoothly. Duo also automatically switches from Wi-Fi to cellular without dropping the call when the user is at home and continues the call on the go.
There is currently no indication if the app will become a native app on future Android releases but Duo will surely be competing with other video calling apps such as Facebook Messenger, Skype and more specially FaceTime.
When it comes to privacy and security, Google claims that Duo is built with an emphasis on privacy and security thus giving all Duo calls an end-to-end encryption.