Audio call feature on Google Duo now available worldwide
Google Duo, the search engine’s video chat app, now supports voice calls, a feature that has now been rolled out worldwide.
Duo’s principle engineer Justin Uberti made a statement on his official twitter account. The statement read:
“Google Duo’s new audio calling feature now available worldwide!”
Uberti has also stated that voice calling can be accessed by simply switching a toggle at the top of the app’s interface.
The upgrade comes barely one year after Google Duo was launched. It seems that Google was not going to let Duo remain just a video-chat app.
The video chatting feature is basic. It only allows you to make video calls and is only available for mobile devices. You are not even required to have a Google account to use it. All you need is your phone number and your contact list. The recipient has to be using Duo as well.
Initially, it sounded strange that Google would integrate the audio feature to a platform that was originally designed for video calls but then again, it’s not such a bad idea. In any case, why not give users the option to choose between video and audio options.
The feature enters a somewhat Competitive market
Duo is no longer just a video-calling app and this means that it has entered a new category. The addition of the audio-only feature positions it to compete with the likes of Whatsapp and Facebook messenger. Basically, platforms that now offers audio and video chat options have a new competitor.
Perhaps the only problem is that other services offer text messaging option while Google is yet to integrate that in Duo. Allo would be a perfect addition to Google Duo that would increase its competitiveness with similar services. But I guess Goggle is comfortable scattering its messaging features.
It is imprudent to assume that Google will add a text messaging to Duo in the future. Nevertheless, we cannot rule that option out since users may demand to have the feature added. In this case, Google would have no option but to oblige.
Audio calls are welcome, but how’s the user experience?
Video and audio calling features are welcome. Those who are not fans of one of them can always opt for the other.
But, there is a BUT. It may be tricky to convince people to make calls via the new feature since other major applications have not been doing very well. For instance, Whatsapp voice calls have not attracted a huge following.
So, will people not use their default apps in favor of Google Dou? Good question but the answer is not forthright.
Also, a good number of users have complained about dropped calls or echo on Whatsapp. The trust level of these app calling features is yet to reach a desirable level. But then again, the service providers have continued to make improvements over time. They are not yet there but they are definitely on the right track.
Regardless, Google’s investment in communication apps is commendable. You can choose between Hangout, Google Voice, or Duo.