It has taken a few weeks but the ability to elevate a call within Google Phone to Google Duo has now rolled out to everyone. The feature allows you to switch a phone call from a voice only call to a video call with a touch of a button within the Phone app. But, as you would suspect, there is a catch.
First, you and the person you are calling has to be using the latest Google Phone app and the latest Google Duo app. The latter of these isn’t so tough as you can download it from the Play Store. The former, however, isn’t so easy. Many manufactures have their own phone apps and you can’t install the Google app.
Assuming you can get past the apps issue, the other gotcha is that both you and the calling party have to have Duo installed and registered with the mobile number you are calling. It is only under these circumstances that you’ll see the video call option in the Phone app.
With all of the app and setup completed, using the new feature is straightforward. During a voice call, you will see a video call option on the screen. Tap that and your call is elevated to Google Duo for a video call. The calling party can reject the video call and the call will continue as a voice call. It should be noted that the feature only works on 1:1 calls, not group calls, and either party in the call can escalate it up to video.