The big day has finally arrived, and as we suspected, Google has plenty of neat tricks up its sleeve to showcase to the over 7,000 attendees of the 2016 I/O conference, as well as the millions tuning in from home.
Duo basically works as the video calling equivalent of the Allo text messaging service, being described in a hilarious demo on the Mountain View stage as a “simple one-to-one calling app for everyone.” By everyone, Google of course means both Android and iOS users, which will get Duo at some point “this summer.”
The main draw of the service is the “spontaneity” of a feature playfully dubbed Knock Knock, which offers a live preview of your video caller as you, erm, decide if you want to answer them or not. End-to-end encryption sounds like another major strong point, along with reliable support for slow networks.
Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity seamlessly change hands to ensure perennial speed, dependability and, well, low LTE costs whenever possible. All in all, Google Duo feels hardly groundbreaking, but in partnership with Allo, it’ll probably replace or even retire Hangouts for good to the satisfaction of many.