Google are just about to launch their new video calling app: Google Duo. We take a look at why this is a really big deal for everyone
Why do we need Google Duo?
There is currently no shortage of video calling apps on the market. It started with Skype, now owned by Microsoft, and hit the mainstream with Apple’s Facetime. Unfortunately, by being innovators, Skype gained a reputation for being pretty crappy quality and Facetime is typically Apple in being limited to iOS devices.
Google have a history of creating universal platforms. First of all, there was Android, which needs no introduction. In the near future, we expect to see virtual reality being standardised with the launch of Google Daydream. With Google’s track record, it’s easy to see why we’re excited about Google Duo.
What makes Google Duo different?
While Skype is available on all major platforms, it’s not very popular because, well they screwed up so many times with video lag and audio that makes it sound like your speaking into a Pringles can. While Facetime is brilliant, Apple never saw fit to develop an app for Android. Of course, Facebook Video Calling should have been a massive success, but there were huge trust issues around the company forcing Messenger on users.
Google is a largely trusted company and while Apple boasts the most popular smartphones on the market, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone without a Gmail account. This means for most people, it will be quite easy for everyone to adopt Google Duo.
Google Duo features
The worst part of any call, video or phone, is that first second. You might not be sure who’s calling, what the context is or if it’s worth putting trousers on. Google Duo’s Knock Knock lets you see a brief video of who is calling you. This sets you up for the call and even lets you be a little creative about encouraging them to pick up.
Thanks to one Mr. Robert Snowden, the public now understands the importance of security. Google Duo, like WhatsApp, will provide end-to-end encryption. This basically means that your video call is secure and will only be visible to you and who you call – no one can intercept it in the middle.
We leave this for last, but really it will be the key to Duo’s success. All you need to get up and running with Duo will be an Android or iOS device and a phone number. You can find other users with just that phone number. This removed the need to search for people by username or email address. Combine this with the likelihood that Android phones will ship with Duo as standard and the scene is set for Duo to grow in popularity very quickly indeed.
Download Google Duo
Google Duo is currently rolling out internationally so you can download it for Android and iOS. It is rolling out in stages, so if you can’t download now you can preview on iOS and pre-register on Android.