By: Nirupam Manik, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi
Last updated : Friday, August 19, 2016 - 11:29
Google' Duo is simple quick and can be really intelligent in various situations.
Cross platform video calling option
Google announced a couple of new chatting apps at this year's Google I/O back in June - a video calling app called 'Duo' and a normal chat messenger 'Allo'. At the time of the event, the company boasted about the simplistic interface that app comes with. A lot of us might argue that Skype and Facetime is the go to video calling app right now. And with Whatsapp planning to integrate video calling, Duo might be not as successful as Google claims it to be. Anyway, let's check out the app and see if it can stand against Skype and Facetime.
Google Duo's USP is its simple and snappy interface. To download the app, you can jump into Appstore/Playstore. The app is free and available for both Android and iOS. Right after you open the app you are greeted with a Terms & Conditions screen. Since Duo requires an active SIM to operate, it will ask you to enter your mobile number to verify the device. Once verified you will be greeted with the Camera window and a 'Video Call' option at the bottom. Hitting the 'Video Call' option will toss up your contacts. The contacts already having the 'Duo' app will appear at the top and rest of the contacts will be separated with an option to invite them.
Regarding other features, the Duo app comes with an interesting option named 'Knock Knock' which allows the person you are calling to see you even before he/she has answered the call. Knock Knock only works if the person has your number listed in his contacts. However, on iOS you have to be in the app to see other person's video before you pick it up. This feature can be easily turned off in the settings menu and you will get a notification at top saying that your video is visible if it's turned on.
While reviewing the Google' Duo, we found out the app to be really intelligent in various situations. The app automatically jumps between better connection and video quality. If your connection is not fast enough, it will automatically pause the video keeping the audio intact and extremely responsive and clear. You also get an option to switch between cameras and mute audio just like any other video calling app. It also asks you to turn off the video if you battery reached below 20%. The app also comes with end-to-end encryption and you can also block individual contacts as well as certain numbers.
The app overall is quite neat and given Google's confidence, we won't be shocked if people start shifting to Duo as their primary video calling app.