Google’s answer to the video calling services provided by Facebook Messenger and Skype is finally here. Well, almost. Announced at Google I/O 2016, Duo is a simple video-calling app that is made for choppy internet connections. Google has currently opened pre-registrations for the app in India, but as of now, only Android users can spot the same on Play Store. However, the company’s official blog highlights that the app should be available across Android and iOS devices worldwide in the next few days.
Just like WhatsApp, Google Duo is tied to a user’s mobile number, instead of an email ID. The Duo app promises to offer video calls in “crisp” 720p HD video resolution, and the company claims that if the connection is spotty, it can adjust the quality without breaking the call. Also, if you are on the move, the app can seamlessly switch from Wi-Fi to cellular, without interrupting the call.
With Duo, Google also promises to provide end-to-end encryption for all video calls, ensuring user privacy. ‘Knock Knock’ is another noteworthy feature of the app, which shows a live video preview of an incoming call.
Along with Duo, Google is also expected to release its new messaging app soon. Called Allo messenger, the app will feature a built-in AI Assistant. Similar to Duo, Allo is also expected to feature end-to-end encryption, but the same will be optional and up to the user’s discretion. An ‘incognito mode’ of the Allo app will allow users to make specific conversations encrypted, while others will not be encrypted by default. This has opened up a pandora’s box of questions and insinuations from the tech and security community. Former CIA operative and whistleblower Edward Snowden also called for a boycott of the Allo app citing privacy issues.
Let us know what you think of Google's Duo app once you get to use it. As always, our comments section is open for your valuable feedback.
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