Google has a new video app, and it’s called Duo.

Duo, is a simple video-calling service that's available for Android and iOS today. Alongside the upcoming messaging app Allo, it's one of two communication apps Google announced earlier this year at its I/O conference.

This is Google's version of Skype and Apple's FaceTime, and it makes one-to-one calling between Android phones, and from Android to iPhone, very simple.

Google Duo Logo
Though both parties have to download the app to begin chatting (unlike FaceTime, which is baked into the dialer of compatible iPhones).And while Android users will likely enjoy using Duo to video-call all their friends, iPhone owners won't be able to ring up fellow iPhone users. However, it may certainly become their go-to app when calling up a buddy who uses Android.


  • ·Simple interface 

Pick a loved one and jump right in, with a simple interface that brings video to the forefront.

  • ·Knock Knock 

See the caller before you answer with Duo’s live preview feature.

  • ·High-quality video 

Experience faster and more reliable video calls whether you’re on Wi-Fi or on-the-go.

  • ·Cross-platform
Video call all your friends across Android and iOS with just one simple app.

Duo's unique feature is Knock Knock

Duo's Knock knock
It gives you a preview of who is calling by firing up the camera on the other end of the line. 

You can see a live video feed of who's calling you, even before you pick up the call. Think of it as a digital peephole, before you answer the door. 

If you're initiating the call, you'll see a little notice that says your video is visible, which means the other person can see what you're doing right at that moment in real time. 

Android users can see Knock Knock regardless of whether Duo is opened or not (like on the lock screen). On the iPhone though, you'll only see it if you're in the app. Otherwise, you'll just get a little notification saying someone's calling you. 

Google's rationale for this is that Knock Knock already gets you smiling before the call starts. 

Of course, that's assuming you actually like/want to speak to the other person who is on the other line.

You can disable Knock Knock
Before you worry about seeing anything you don't want to see from the other line, know that you can only receive Knock Knocks from people who are already in your contact list. 

You can also block individual people from calling you. (By the way, when you block a person on Duo, the person won't know it. When they call, they'll just hear your line ring and ring continuously.)

If Knock Knock really isn't your thing, you can disable it altogether in Duo's Settings menu. 

You can't disable Knock Knock on a person-to-person basis though, so it's Knock Knock or nothing.

Duo has an incredibly user-friendly and intuitive interface.
Google Duo

Before you begin a call, you'll see icons to start a video call and your recent contacts (sorry, there's no audio-only option). 

During a call, you'll see yourself (in a small little circle), and icons to mute audio, switch cameras and hang up. Video from the other line fills up your screen and that's pretty much it. 

If you'd rather have your camera fill up the screen (for example, you're touring a house to the person on the other line), just tap the preview circle and your view will switch.

What makes Duo different than Google's other video-calling service; Hangouts?

  • Hangouts can be used on desktops, supports messaging and group chats, and has multiway video for collaboration (and its interface reflects these extra features) But according to Google, Duo is supposed to be way more specialized. 

Duo does one thing and one thing only: video calls on your phone or tablet· 

  • Hangouts connects people through email addresses while Duo builds your contact list by scouring your phone directory to see who else has the app.

  • And the best difference between it and Hangouts? It uses end-to-end encryption so your data can't be viewed from third parties or even Google itself.

Duo works only as well as your connection. if you have a good Wi-Fi or data connection, the app works smoothly. 

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