Duo launched by Google to compete with FaceTime and Skype

Google Duo

A straightforward one-to-one video calling app, Duo, has finally been launched by Google, and is available on Android and iOS smartphones.

Rolling out worldwide in the next couple of days, Duo is a direct challenger to Skype, Messenger, and Apple’s FaceTime, which is pre-installed on iPhones, Macs and iPads.

It is one of the first Google apps that does not require users to have a Google account to use it. Users need to register with their phone number, and then they can find other users via their phone number.

One interesting feature that aims to set Duo apart from its rivals is Knock Knock. This allows you to see a live video of whoever is calling you before you answer, letting you know what they’re up to while your phone is ringing.

Whenever the network conditions change during a call, the call quality will adjust accordingly, to ensure the call continues. The resolution will be reduced if the bandwidth is limited. Additionally, for calls while moving, Duo can automatically switch between Wi-Fi and mobile data without the call being dropped.

“Users are reluctant to video call because they don’t know if the other person is on the right network, the right device, or it’s a good time to call,” said Amit Fulay, Google’s group manager for communications.

“We’ve tried to remove all that friction and make it feel like an invitation, not an interruption when someone calls you.

“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.”

Importantly, with regards to privacy and security, Google says that all Duo calls are end-to-end encrypted. Google first announced Duo back in May at its I/O developer conference.

Image courtesy of Google