Google Releases Duo App to Compete Against FaceTime

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Google Duo was released this morning. The video chat app works on phones only, and serves as Google’s attempt to compete against FaceTime. The app allows for a simple interface, with the ability to tap on the face of a person you want to call and talk to them if they accept.

The one-on-one video app is available on Android and iOS. Signing up for the app is easy. The app will send a confirmation text to your phone,  and will allow users to begin chatting immediately. There is no reason to create an account, and the app uses the contacts in your phone as your friend’s list.

Conference calls are not able to be made on the platform, and the requirement of a SIM card will make it impossible to use the app on a tablet or another device.

Nick Fox, the VP of Google’s communications division, states that the simple design was incorporated on purpose.

“It enables us to just make sure that we were doing a great thing, wonderful job on that case,” states Fox. “For us, we thought amazing on mobile, nothing on desktop was the better approach,” Fox added.

One of the key features that the app has incorporated into the Android version is the “knock, knock” feature. The feature is enabled when a person attempts to call you. Users have the option to accept or decline a video call, but with “knock, knock,” users are able to see live video of the person who is trying to call them.

Users that are trying to call can make funny faces or do other fun things to entice the user to pick up the call.

The feature only works when people in your contact list have called, ensuring that random people won’t show up on your screen. Duo offers a fresh, new way to conduct one-on-one video calls, and it does it very well.