Google Duo went live just recently, but not all Android and iOS users have already made the switch to this video calling app.
The app comes to take on the likes of Skype, WeChat, Viber, FaceTime and Facebook Messenger, which has just upped its game by adding an Instant Video feature to its chat platform. Most people already make video calls through these apps, but Google still wants them to ditch their current apps in favor of Duo. So, what does the company think this Google Duo app brings to the table? Furthermore, how is it easy to use as claimed by the search engine giant?
Here’s a deeper look at Google Duo as a free video calling app for Android and iOS users.
What is Google Duo and why use it?
For starters, know that Google Duo is video calling app that offers no other service, contrary to most of its competitors that combine messaging and voice calling features as well. This is what makes the app exciting because it perfects only on one thing – video calls.
In addition to this optimization, Google Duo is an easy-to-use app that also takes advantage of your phone number as opposed to Hangouts, which uses your Gmail address. In the wake of demands from various governments for permission to access private chats made through different communications platforms, Google Duo promises maximum security thanks to the end-to-end encryption technology embedded in the app.
Although simple and easy to use – something that means the app is less than 10MB – Duo also packs a decent feature in the shape of Knock Knock. This feature lets the recipient of a call see the background of the caller even before they answer the call.
How to use Google Duo
As noted, Google Duo is available on both Android and iOS devices. Depending on your platform, you can either visit the Play Store or App Store to download the app on your phone. After installation, launching the app will ask for your phone number. Like many other communications app, a verification code will be generated and sent to the provided number as an SMS. Enter this code to confirm your identity and that’s it. But remember, for Duo to work perfectly, it needs permission to access your phone book, camera as well as audio.
Launching Google Duo will show a live video feed of yourself on the upper two-thirds of the screen while the bottom third has a large Video call button. The app also comes with a three-dot menu on the top right, which is the home for the app’s Settings. Google has kept everything simple in the settings by providing settings for vibration, turning Knock Knock on and off, limit usage of mobile data, unregister your phone number as well as a list of blocked numbers.
To start a call, just hit the Video call button and a list of contacts will show up, with those already using Google Duo appearing at the top. As for the rest, you’ll notice an “Invite” option against each contact. Tapping on any of the names at the top of the list will immediately send you into a video call, meaning a live image of yourself will be visible to the receiver, if the Knock Knock feature is turned on.
When the recipient picks the call, a live video will show up, with a small live image of yourself pushed down to the bottom left corner. If you tap on this small window, it will enlarge and take up the entire screen and in so doing, the live image of your friend will be pushed to the bottom left corner. You can tap again to take things back to normal.
Try swiping in from the left side and a couple of more buttons will show up, with the first one taking care of muting sound and the other will let you switch between cameras – front and back. To end the call, there is a big red button to do that. Keep in mind that you can use Google Duo in both portrait and landscape.
Have you made the switch to Google Duo already? How is your experience? Please share your views in the comments.