Google Inc. is adding yet another video chat app to mobile app stores, and it can be described as a hybrid between Microsoft’s Skype and Apple’s FaceTime.
Google Duo is a one-to-one video calling app that allows people to connect without signing into an account. Like Skype, users on Android and iOS can use the app and have video calls with each other. Like Facetime, you use your phone contacts list to video call people – all that’s required is a phone number.
Simplicity of use is the main focus with Duo, according to a Google blog post on Tuesday. As demonstrated in this Google video of people that are just incredibly delighted to be receiving a Duo call, a feature called Knock Knock streams live video of the person making the call, visible to the person receiving it even before they answer.
Google says seeing the caller “gives you a sense of what they’re up to and why they want to chat.” It will have the effect of making calls “more spontaneous and welcoming.”
The calls are encrypted from end-to-end for privacy and security considerations, Google says.
Google Duo is starting its roll out as of Tuesday, and will be available on iOS and Android worldwide over the next few days.