Google Kills Hangout on Air, Launches Duo Video-Calling App; To Release Allo Next

Google has launched the much-awaited Duo, video calling app, similar or slightly tweaked version of other popular video calling options such as Apple’s FaceTime, Microsoft’s Skype and Facebook’s Messenger app.

In an official Blog, Google Principal Software Engineer Justin Uberti has posted the features of Google Duo, which he introduced as a simple 1-to-1 video calling app for everyone. Notwithstanding, Google is also going to release its sister app called Allo, a new messaging app featuring a robotic assistant that will help you with suggestions to respond automatically to certain text messages.

Attributing poor video-call usage among smartphone users, Google said the complicated video calling has become easier with its Duo. Available for Android and iOS, Duo takes the complexity out of video calling, with several additional features to top it all. All that one needs is a phone number.

Simple interface

Duo is simple and all you need is your phone number and you’ll be able to reach people in your phone’s contacts list. No separate account is required, so you can sign up in just a few steps. From there, you can instantly begin a video call with a single tap.

Fast and reliable

No failed calls due to choppy video. “We’ve built Duo to be fast and reliable, so that video calls connect quickly and work well even on slower networks. Call quality adjusts to changing network conditions to keep you connected — when bandwidth is limited, Duo will gracefully reduce the resolution to keep the call going smoothly. For video calls on the go, Duo will switch between Wi-Fi and cellular data automatically without dropping your call. You can start your call at home, and continue seamlessly even when you head out,” said Uberti in his post.

On the design front, Duo has another significant feature that may make it better than its rivals. Before accepting calls, you can see what the other person is up to. The new feature called “Knock Knock” will let you see live video of your caller before you answer, giving you a sense of what they’re up to and why they want to chat. Knock Knock makes you feel relaxed to accept any call from the other person as you know what’s forthcoming.

Finally, Duo comes with an assurance that all calls are end-to-end encrypted, promising you privacy and safety.

Duo, rolled out today for Android and iOS platforms, will be live worldwide in the next few days, including India.

Duo vs Hangout

Now the question is how far Duo is different from Google Hangout’s video calling feature? Google has been offering video calling through its Hangout for several years with limited usage or popularity. Now the company is pondering the possibility of restraining Hangout video calling feature to business meetings while taking the Duo route to meet individual video calls.

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