Video calling seemed like a futuristic feature on sci-fi shows in the past, now in the information age, and smartphones becoming more accessible, video calling is now a reality, but despite that, we still stick to instant messaging, SMS, and traditional voice calls; Google seeks to make video calling more attractive and very simple to use with its newest app following the preview of Android Nougat: Google Duo. This app is supposed to make video calling faster, more secure, and made very simple at the touch of a button. The app is fairly fresh from development and when compared to current mainstream messaging and communication apps such as Facebook Messenger and Skype, it seems that it will need to fill in extra huge shoes to become worth switching or even bother downloading.
Google Duo is Dead Simple to Use
Google Duo has a very simple user interface; the main screen couldn’t be any simpler; the interface is bisected into two sections mainly the camera view where the front camera starts up the moment the UI shows up and a section where a large “video call” button is present. On the top right is the traditional three dot options button to bring up the settings and help and feedback menu. During a call, additional buttons such as mute and camera toggle for front or back will show up Aside from those elements, there’s nothing more on the UI to talk about, it’s dead simple.
The main features of the app is how simple it is as the setup process requires no Google account and instead you are to enter your current country and current mobile number, a confirmation code will be sent to your number, and upon inputting the code on the app, it’s ready. Continuing the simple-to-use theme, getting acquainted with Duo is very simple: open the app, the camera boots up, press the large video call button and a list of contacts will show up, tap a contact, and that’s it, the app will attempt to connect the call. The difference between Duo and Hangouts or Skype is that from the name itself, Duo is just for two-person video call and nothing more. One notable feature of Duo is the knock-knock feature which shows a live video of the person who’s calling without them seeing you, like a door peephole to see who’s knocking; clever.
Google Duo is worth a look especially when it’s fairly new, it may lack features but it’s made to be simple, fast, have a responsive UI, and the clever knock-knock features could may well spawn similar features on its competitors. It may have a few kinks especially if it’s very new and just rolled-off the dev table but give it a chance and you may get used to the simplicity of Duo.
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