After months and months of anticipation, Google has finally released their ultra-slimmed-down version of a video chatting app called Duo. This app allows both iOS and Android users to register with just their phone numbers and contact anyone who’s in their contacts who also has the app over a live video chat.
Now I know what your thinking, “Gosh, this thing must weigh a ton in size!” And I’m happy to say… you’re wrong. Google has carefully built Duo from the ground up with a focus on bringing a very minimal design and approach to the which while you can make very high-quality video calls over Wi-Fi and cellular data, won’t use all the storage yet on your phone. In fact, when I installed it, I noticed that the app weighs just around 7MB, give or take. That’s really small for a video chatting app. As a matter of fact, that’s around a fifth of the size of Skype for Android and a little more than half the size of WhatsApp. So if you’re looking for just an app to make video calls to your fellow Android users or those who are on iOS, I highly recommend this application.
If you’ll notice, the same icon that was leaked just a day ago is being used for Google Duo in both the Play Store and the App Store. With its blue message-type bubble and material design video camera, many will appreciate this logo over the previous one which actually said “Duo” on it.
To make Duo stand out a bit, Google decided to build in a feature called Knock Knock. This allows you to see a live video of the person calling you before you decide to answer. This can be turned on or off via the Duo settings menu. And if your on iOS, unfortunately you won’t see this live preview unless you already have Duo open.
A protocol called QUIC is being used in Duo by Google which will provide a better video calling experience and smoother transitions from a bad Wi-Fi network to mobile data. You’ve also got end-to-end encryption to make sure your calls stay secure and private.
Google Duo is now rolling out to users in the US on both Android and iOS, while a worldwide rollout will begin over the next few days. At the moment, only US phone numbers are supported by the app, however we expect international numbers to be made supported over the next day or so as more countries and territories receive the video calling app.
(P.S. Google Allo, the new messaging app by Google which accompanies Duo, appears to not be available yet. We’ll let you know in a separate article when that app launches in full.)