Finally, Google has a video chat app to take on FaceTime—and it’s called Google Duo. The new video chat app is designed to work exclusively on phones—with The Verge giving kudos to Google for creating a chat app that is fast and easy to use.
Once you tap on the face of the person you want to call, he or she answers, and you can both have a one-on-one video conversation. It’s biggest selling point is in its simplicity, which makes video chat more attractive to mobile phone users. If the goal was to create an app that will encourage people to chat on their mobile phone, then it is safe to say Google has done a great job.
Just mobile; no desktop…
Interesting too is the fact that Google Duo only works on mobile phones, with no word on whether Google has any plan to bring it to desktop now or latter. It is only available on iOS and Android phones.
Signing up too is easy! Once you sign up, Google Duo checks your phone number from your SIM and sends a confirmation text—it’s that simple and fast. As a matter of fact, there is no need to create account, and no need to bother about keeping a long friends’ list. Everything is linked to the contacts on your mobile phone and your phone number.
No conference call
Perhaps, future updates could see Google adding conference calling to Google Duo, but for now, it’s not part of the video chat app. This is a bit odd considering the fact that some popular video chat apps offer conference calling. In spite of that, give it to Google for creating combining simplicity and beauty in a single chat app.
Speed and reliability
One of the reasons most people avoid using video chat apps for is because they are sometimes either not fast or reliable. Google Duo is offering something slightly different, probably because of its simplicity.
“We’ve built Duo to be fast and reliable, so that video calls connect quickly and work well even on slower networks,” said Justin Uberti, Google’s Principal Software Engineer. “Call quality adjusts to changing network conditions to keep you connected — when bandwidth is limited, Duo will gracefully reduce the resolution to keep the call going smoothly. For video calls on the go, Duo will switch between Wi-Fi and cellular data automatically without dropping your call. You can start your call at home, and continue seamlessly even when you head out the door.”
Duo is one of two chat apps announced by Google a couple of months back—the second one being Allo. No date has been announced for the release of Allo, which is expected to feature Google’s powerful machine learning ability. However, release of Google Duo on Monday by Google could be an indication that it won’t be long until an announcement is made.
Finally, Google Duo is not a bad idea, but considering how popular Facebook Messenger, FaceTime and the rest of them are, the app sure has a lot of work to do.
You can check out other cool features of Google Duo here