Google Duo is intended to partner with Google Allo. Allo focuses on text messaging, similar to Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype and similar solutions. Duo, by contrast, offers one-to-one video messaging, similar to Apple's FaceTime product.
Available for both Android and iOS, Duo aims to simplify the video-chat experience by offering simple controls and only person-to-person communication. It doesn't require a separate account; log in with your phone number, and connect with other Duo users based on their phone number in your contacts list. Duo does not support a Web version, so Windows users are locked out of the platform, although Google's use of the WebRTC standard means that desktop clients (even ones not developed by Google) could work with the service.
Duo offers a unique feature called Knock Knock, which plays the video stream of a caller so you know who's there and what that person might want before you choose to answer the video call.
Duo calls stream at 720p high-definition video quality, compressed for low-bandwidth phones using a mix of open-source and proprietary standards, including WebRTC. Like Netflix, when Duo senses bandwidth problems, it degrades the quality of the video stream to preserve the state of the connection. Duo will even switch between your cell signal and Wi-Fi to maximize the strength and bandwidth of the call. Duo also features, by default, end-to-end encryption.
Google Duo will work on your phone even if you don't have the app.
NEW DELHI: Speculations doing the rounds that Google Duo, Google's video calling app, works on devices that don't have the app installed.
Reports suggest that users, who have installed the latest Android version on their smartphone, can access Google Duo without downloading the app. However, on iOS and platforms, the app will be required for making calls on Duo.
The company is also reportedly working on versions of the app for web browsers, and group calls with better audio quality.
Google's video chats mobile app was announced at the company's developer conference in May 2016 and began its worldwide release in August the same year.
Google Duo lets users make video calls in high definition. It is optimised for low-bandwidth networks. End-to-end encryption is enabled by default. Duo is based on phone numbers, allowing users to call someone from their contact list. The app automatically switches between Wi-Fi and cellular networks.
Furthermore, a "Knock Knock" feature lets users see a live preview of the caller before answering. The app also lets users make audio-only calls.