Google Duo – Does the name sound familiar? For those who are unaware, the Google Duo is a mobile app for video chat developed by Google. It is compatible with both iOS and Android platforms. Google announced about it along with its instant messaging app Google Allo sometime in May 2016. It was officially available in the United States from 16 August 2016 and worldwide a few days later. Within a few days of its launch it became the number one free app available on Google Play. It even surpassed the Pokemon Go gaming app that had created ripples throughout the world.
Features of Google Duo
So, what makes it the so popular that it beat its siblings and other apps in the Android ecosystem, to become the number one app within two days of its launch? The answer lies in its simplicity while offering superior features. As of now Google Duo is only available in the form of a stand-alone mobile app and there is no update of this being integrated into Gmail or any other services offered by Google. The most notable features of the Google Duo app are:
- It offers high definition 720p video recording. This feature lets you stream rich content with better visual clarity and sharpness.
- It includes the knock-knock feature that provides a live preview of the caller (if video preview is available) before the recipient answers the call.
- The app is optimized for low bandwidth mobile networks. In spite of having HD recording capabilities the app is well-suited for slow networks too. This is achieved by monitoring the network quality and then degrading the video quality to suit the bandwidth.
- High security for your communication by offering end to end encryption as a default option.
- The app is capable of automatically switching between Wi-Fi network and mobile data connection to offer you an interruption free video calling experience.
- The app uses the phone numbers (saved in the contact list) to allow users to call their contacts easily and eliminates the need to have a separate list.
- It also features the Google Assistant support.
As far as technology is concerned, you get the best and the lightest – WebRTC (Web Real Time Communication), QUIC over UDP (Quick UDP). The result is reduced latency. You also get the best in terms of security – end to end encryption. Google now has three different stand-alone apps for communication, the established Google Hangouts, the new Google Allo instant messaging app and the Google Duo video calling app.
As of now the Google Duo app only support One to one video calling, as against the Hangouts app that can be used for group video conferencing as well. You would be amazed by the quality of the video delivered by the Google Duo app even on a regular bandwidth and the way it adjusts to changes in the network speed is also noteworthy. This is yet another killer app from Google that is going to pose a stiff competition to the established players.