Google Duo: Has the Real Alternative for FaceTime Arrived?


Over the years, Google has come out with various attempts to overthrow established names from a business.

The tried taking on WhatsApp – before the Facebook acquisition – with apps like hangouts, while they even went after Facebook with apps like Google Plus. However, they have been nowhere near enough the popularity enjoyed by Google’s search engine, which ultimately remains the company’s biggest success story. This has not prevented Google from attempting new things and one of the latest to get huge response straight away is Google Duo.


Google claims that it wanted to make video calling a whole lot easier than through the current means. One cannot help think that it is a direct attempt to take on the market share enjoyed by FaceTime, which is the hugely popular video calling app for Apple devices. One of the biggest advantages of FaceTime is that it is limited only to Apple devices. Google Duo attempts to overcome this aspect by providing fast and easy access across all devices and all platforms. While most video calling applications require a sign-in with a dedicated email and password, Google Duo works with a phone number.

Even though this limits the usage of the Google Duo app to only on mobile phones and tablets, it does make it a whole lot easier to enter into a video call situation. Google Duo comes with a new way of receiving a video call on an android device; apps today merely give out information of the caller and the video starts once the call is picked up. Google Duo gives out video streams of the caller even before the call is answered. This whole new innovative way – called Knock Knock – of interacting with the caller could change a lot of aspects.

As a means of protecting privacy, Knock Knock works only with contacts in the phone and not with all video calls. The app is capable of self-adjusting the video quality depending on the connection speeds. Even though this aspect has existed on several other apps, Google Duo seems to have perfected quality issues.


One of the limitations of Google Duo is that it works only on phones and tablets unlike FaceTime which can work even on MacBook Pro and iMac. Google has also revealed that it does not have any plans to stop development on Hangouts, which has become stale in recent years due to lack of user interaction.

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