Like Apple’s FaceTime, Facebook’s WhatsApp or Messenger, and Microsoft’s Skype, Google created a video and voice calling software called Google Duo (Pocket-lint). In contrast to Apple’s FaceTime, Duo did not cost anything to use and was compatible with both iOS and Android devices. When Google integrated Duo and Google Meet in August 2022, the latter service became branded solely as Meet.
This article will describe the current state of affairs, and for those curious about the history of the topic, we’ve included that information as well.
When did Google Duo become Google Meet?
It makes sense to consolidate Google’s two video-calling apps, Duo and Google Meet, which were previously in an odd form of rivalry, as the company did at the beginning of June 2022.
Then, the merger officially started in early August of 2022. However, the procedure wasn’t as streamlined as we had hoped. Duo is currently known as Google Meet, while the previous Google Meet app is still available (original).
The duo still maintains the same functionality as before, but Google has rebranded the app to include the features previously only available in Meet. However, the original Meet lacks some of the improvements made in Duo and will eventually be phased out.
Check out our Google Meet section if you’re curious about the inner workings of Google Meet’s latest iteration (and Duo’s, for that matter). Below, you’ll find information about how Duo operated before the merger.
How did Google Duo work?
- Download the Google Duo app for your iOS or Android device
- Designate whether Duo can send you notifications and access your microphone and camera
- Verify your number
- Type in the one-time verification code sent via SMS
- The app’s main interface will then appear
The primary interface of Google Duo is a split-screen view, with your camera feed in the upper half and your contact list on the lower half. At the very top, you’ll find both a search bar and a menu that will take you to the various configuration options.
Each time you use Duo, the camera view, search bar, and contact and group lists will be presented to you.
Begin a video call by searching for the person you wish to speak with, tapping their name in the results, and then tap the video call icon in the middle of the bottom of your screen.
If you use Google Voice for the first time, the search engine will “Smile! Let’s play Knock Knock “together with a note saying that your friend if they have you saved as a contact, would see your number pop up on their screen when you call. However, this function prevents your friend from seeing you while you talk to them over the phone. So, when you make a video call to a friend, you’ll both see a screen warning you that your video is visible, as well as the person’s name or a number and an end button (likely you).
If you are using your phone at the time a friend makes a video call to you, the incoming video call screen will appear, showing you what your friend’s camera is seeing, along with options to answer the call or end it. Depending on your settings, a notification may alert you that a video call is coming in even if you’re not actively using your phone.
The actual video call screen, including a view of whatever your buddy’s camera sees and four buttons, will appear whenever you answer a video call or if your friend answers your call. An end call button, a mute button, a button to switch between the front and back cameras, a button to activate the low-light mode, and a button to switch between the cameras are all included. In addition, a miniature version of your camera’s field of vision appears (which, when expanded, reduces your friend’s camera view to the larger, circular thumbnail). Everything here is easy to understand.
When a call ends, both parties are taken back to the main screen with the camera, search bar, and “Create Group” button. Keep in mind that you may find people to invite to Duo and conduct other searches right from the search bar. It may seem apparent, but your pals will need to install Duo on their end in order to make video calls to you.
Google Duo’s primary interface (the camera view/search bar and ‘Create Group’ button screen) can be navigated by tapping the button with three horizontal dots in the top right corner. Next, you’ll notice tabs labeled “Settings,” “Privacy in Duo,” “Help,” and “Feedback,” respectively. Choose Preferences by clicking the button.
You can disable features like Knock Knock and Low-light mode, among others, via this menu. In addition to Siri Shortcuts for iOS users, other options include limiting mobile data consumption, enabling vibration while ringing (Android only), deregistering your phone number, adding a Google Account, and blocking specific numbers.
Features like Duo Moments, in which a user appears in and takes a photo during a call, can be activated and shared with the group.
Could you disable Knock Knock on Google Duo?
Yes. Knock Knock is a feature of Duo that allows you to check who is calling before picking up the phone. Disabling this function can be done in the app’s ‘Settings’ menu (the aforementioned ‘Manage preferences’).
Could you disable low-light mode on Google Duo?
Yes. If you are having trouble being seen by the person on the other end of a Duo video call due to low lighting, you can switch to Low-light mode. You can turn off this feature by going to the ‘Settings’ option we described in the ‘Manage Preferences section.
Could you make group video calls on Google Duo?
Google Duo supports multi-party video chats with up to 32 participants (although this will go up to 100 when it merges with Meet). Tap the “Create Group” button at the bottom of the Google Duo screen, then pick the people you’d like to add to the group.
Could you make voice calls on Google Duo?
Yes. The duo combines voice and video calling like its competitors FaceTime and WhatsApp. It’s also possible to send prerecorded messages.
Could you sign up for Google Duo without a phone number?
In fact, Duo needs your phone number. Use the app to get in touch with folks in your phone’s address book. There is no need for a second account.
Could you make Duo calls from a browser?
You can use Duo in your browser as an alternative if you go to duo.google.com and authenticate your phone number.
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