Google Duo is recording over 10 million sign-ups every week owing to the Coronavirus pandemic that has forced people to work from home and that has led to a surge in video conferencing apps and services. With Zoom in the spotlight for security lapses, Google says that Duo is seeing 10x growth in call minutes in many countries and is releasing a bunch of new features to make the app more secure and accessible.
In a blog post, Google announced it’s adding new features to its popular video calling app. Google Duo is receiving an update that brings in a new video codec support, screenshot button and more. The company also revealed that users of it’s Duo video calling app are exchanging 180 percent more messages than ever, recording an 800 percent increase in regions strictly following social distancing.
Google is bringing in a new video codec support that aims to improve the video call quality even if you’re using a low bandwidth connection. Duo will soon be updated to support AV1 video codec that will ensure 30kbps video stream while on a call. This solution is already in use by Netflix and YouTube and offers up to 30% improvement for low bandwidth connections.
The company also reaffirmed its security measures saying, “Duo is end to end encrypted, and we’re constantly making optimizations to ensure your video calling experience is clear and uninterrupted.” Google Duo also leverages AI to improve audio quality with WaveNetEQ.
The app is also getting a new button that lets users take a photo of the screen and automatically arranges it side by side for you to save it. This feature is being rolled out on smartphones, tablets and Chromebooks and soon group calls will also support this functionality.
Google recently increased its participant limit on video calls to 12 users and now the company has revealed its plans to further increase the limit. In comparison, Facebook Messenger supports up to 50 people on a video call.
The app will automatically save your video and voice messages that previously expired after 24 hours. Google Duo is available on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, ChromeOS and more.