Google Releases Duo — A Simple Video Calling App for iOS and Android

Back in May this year, Google announced two new apps for messaging and video calling — Allo and Duo. Today, the search giant has released Google Duo into the wild, both for Android and iOS.

Google Duo is a pretty simple and straightforward video calling app. It works with your phone number and doesn’t require a Google account. I love the simple interface with just a giant ‘Video Call’ button at the bottom, along with avatars of people you can call. The app lets you preview incoming video calls before you answer them via a featured called ‘Knock Knock’.

To make calls feel more like an invitation rather than an interruption, we created a feature in Duo called Knock Knock which lets 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 video calling more spontaneous and welcoming, helping you connect with the person before you even pick up.

This works best on Android, where it automatically displays the video of the incoming call. Due to iOS limitations, the app has to be open for this to work on an iPhone.

It’s also interesting that Duo only works on one device at a time, and Google says that it was built “with an emphasis on privacy and security, and all Duo calls are end-to-end encrypted.”

You can download Google Duo from here:

Google Duo for iOS
Google Duo for Android

Availability is limited to the US at the moment, with a worldwide rollout in the next few days.

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