Google Duo is another video calling app trying to claw its way in the video calling space. It’s free to use and allows you to make one-on-one video calls to compete against the likes of FaceTime, WhatsApp, and Skype. The app’s USP is its simple and hassle free interface (no need to remember login details). It also offers encrypted communication and other nifty features such as Knock Knock. Google unveiled Duo at its Google I/O developer conference in 2016. The app is now available for free on both iOS and Android.
Here’s how Duo works, including a list of steps as to how to get started with the app.
- Once all the above is done, enter your phone number. Google will then send you a one-time code via SMS, enter the confirmation code received, just give the requisite permissions and you’re good to go! Something similar to how WhatsApp works – no login required.
- Now you’ll land at the app’s main interface. You’ll see a screen split into two, with the top showing the camera’s field of view, while the bottom half has a large video calling button. You’ll be asked to give the app access to your contacts when you first see this screen.
- To start making a video call, just tap on the video button which opens up your contacts. You can also send invites or just tap on the video call button to start the video chat session. Your friends or contacts will also need to install Duo to be able to use the video calling feature.
- Once both parties have Duo installed, just tap the video call button which throws up your contacts, and then find your friend and tap on his/her name to make the video call.
- When your friend answers your call, you’ll see the video calling screen which shows whatever your friend’s camera sees along with five buttons. These five buttons allow you to change the audio source, a button to switch between your rear and facing cameras, a mute button, a button for your camera view and the end call button.
I did try the app and was pleasantly surprised by its straightforward and easy to use interface. The setup is a breeze, while the app seems fast, intelligent and responsive. If you’d like to try Duo, head over to the download links here and here depending on whether you’re an Android or an iOS user.