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Google Releases Duo Video Chat App

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Duo launches with ‘Knock Knock’ feature for live preview of caller

Looking to up the ante against rivals at Apple, Microsoft and Facebook, Google has launched a new video chatting app, called Duo.

Pitted against the likes of FaceTime, Skype and Messenger, Duo launches with a feature called ‘Knock Knock’ that differentiates it from the aforementioned.

Live preview

OOGL1168000H_Google_Apps_Duo_Campaign_Birthday_Knock_Knock_PR_08_unslatedThe feature gives users a live video of the caller before you answer, so call recipients can get a sense of what the caller is up to and why they want to chat, according to Google.

Billed as a simple 1-to-1 video calling app, Duo is available on Android an iOS mobile operating systems, and Google promises it takes the complexity out of video calling.

“Duo is simple from start to finish,” said Google. “To get started, all you need is your phone number and you’ll be able to reach people in your phone’s contacts list. No separate account is required, so you can sign up in just a few steps. From there, you can instantly begin a video call with a single tap.”

Google explained that Duo’s call quality automatically adjusts to changing network conditions, and when bandwidth is limited Duo will reduce the resolution in an attempt to keep the call going smoothly. Like other video calling platforms, Duo can switch between Wi-Fi and cellular automatically without call dropping.

“We designed Duo to feel warm and inviting, focused on just you and the person you’re calling,” said Google.

“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.”

Calls on Duo are end-to-end encrypted, and will be rolled out worldwide over the course of this week.

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