Google has joined the race by launching a video-calling app called Duo that works on both Android and iOS smartphones. Google also announced the launch of Allo, a new messaging app at the annual I/O conference recently.
Duo, unlike Google Hangouts, does not require the users to sign up using a Google account. Users can use the app with just their phone numbers. The app is obviously a competition to iOS’ FaceTime. Despite the fact that FaceTime caters to only iOS users, the new Duo has an additional advantage for users to get a live video preview of incoming calls. The feature is called “Knock Knock”, which on iOS does not work on locked screens.
According to Google’s group manager for communications, Amit Fulay, the app is designed to function as an “invitation to video” rather than an interruption. Users are usually reluctant to make a video call because they are un-sure whether or not the other person would be interrupted. Additionally, with this app, the person on the receiving end has the option to dodge video if needed.
“Duo is all about simplicity and quality. It’s all about video calling. There are no frills, no knobs or dials to adjust, it just works.” he adds.
It makes sense. It makes it simpler to identify, add or call users using their phone numbers rather than an email address. Facebook’s messenger also has a similar feature.
Duo, like many other video calling apps out there, adjusts its video definition according to the network efficiency. Also, the default settings for the data usage will limit the data consumed using this app. The optimised consumption is optional and can be altered in the settings. Lastly, the Duo also automatically switches to Wi-Fi if a better connection is available and enables “seamless” transition without call drops.
Watch the promo trailer here.
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