Google has brought a new feature to their consumer video calling app, Google Duo. The new feature is video messaging. Now when you call someone using the app and they do not answer (or declines your call), you can leave up to a 30 second video message for them. You can also leave them a voice only message if you prefer.
If you receive a video message in Google Duo, all you need to do is tap their avatar in the app. The message will then be played and you can tap the Call Now button to call them back.
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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.
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When it comes to video calls on any app, the question for many is just how much data is this app consuming? In the case of Google Duo, it isn’t much for what you are getting. Google’s Justin Uberti, a principle engineer with the company and the technical lead on Duo, Tweeted that in the case of the video calling app, it consumes about 8MB per minute.
That means that a 5 minute call is going to consume roughly 40MB of your data plan while an hour long call would be roughly 480MB. So is that a lot? Well, not really for the quality of the calls that Duo produces.
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Google’s consumer messaging app, Google Allo, has another update rolling out that brings the ability to uplift your chat conversation to a video call with a single tap. The update, version 14.0.037 for those keeping score, now has a button in the upper-right corner in the messaging screen that to launch Google Duo. So if text-based messaging isn’t getting the conversation done, you can now place a Duo video call without having to launch it separately. The new feature is aimed to bring the two apps more closely together but also to make communication more frictionless.
For those new to Android, Google Allo is Google’s text-based messaging app while Google Duo is their video calling app. Both are focused on the consumer market while Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Video, the completely revamped versions of what is now known as Hangouts Classic, is for the enterprise space.
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After being announced and released in the Brazilian market last month, Google Duo now has the ability to make audio-only calls for all users worldwide starting today. The update is mostly a server side change but you will need to make sure you have the latest version of Duo installed on your phone. For reference, that is build 9.1.151636499. Once the update is on your Google account, you will have a toggle panel at the top of the display in the app where you can switch between video and audio calls. To place an audio only call, just tap the New call button and select who you want to call. As with video calls, the person you want to call must have Google Duo installed.
The addition of voice calls to Duo is a bit odd and, frankly, speaks to the ongoing confusion that Google has around their message apps and their roles. Duo was originally setup to be the video call app for consumers with Google Allo being the message app with Google Assistant built in. With the addition of voice calls to Duo, it is out of it original role a bit although you could argue it is still a real time communication event. Regardless of the logic, Google needs to clean up their messaging around their messaging & communication apps.
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Google’s new video app, Google Duo, has been out about a month now and while the 10 million downloads are okay, it isn’t exactly setting the world alight. If you haven’t tried it out, it is a great video experience. To help get awareness of the app up and to show it in action, Google released a series of 10 adverts for the app and some of them are really good. My favorite, which you can find after the break, is something we can all related to: A lost sock in the laundry.
The range of videos are centered around things that go together. Like a pair of socks. Or salt and pepper. Or Peanut Butter and Jelly. You get the idea. Duos
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Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai took to Twitter last night and provided an important update to everyone: Google Duo has hit the 5 million download mark. The new video calling app was released the same day as Android Nougat and frankly is a pretty refined experience versus other video calling solutions. Duo gives you a preview of who is calling before you even accept the call.
While 5 million isn’t exactly huge when you compare it to the hundreds of millions of Android phones and iPhones out there, it is significant in that there is some excitement around this new video app.
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Last May at Google I/O, the company announced a new video calling app, Google Duo. That app was promised at some point this summer and today it has hit the Play Store as a free download. The app lets you place a video call to any of your contacts who have Duo and provides a seamless and great video experience. One of the key features of the app is that it gives a video preview of the person who is calling or you are calling so you can see who it is and what they may be wanting to have a video call with you about before you answer.
Continue reading “Google Duo Lands in the Play Store”