What is Google Duo? All you need to know about this Video Calling App

Google Duo has been a popular application for over the years, and it lets you freely connect with friends and family members around the world. The simple video chatting app is available for iOS and Android devices. Launched on August 16, 2016, Google Duo has grown from strength to strength. Over the years, Google has released several advanced features to make it stand out from the rivals. Recently, Google has increased the group call limit from 8 to 12 participants. If you haven’t installed or used the Google Duo app before, here is everything you need to know about Google Duo.

How to Setup and Use Google Duo

First of all, you need to download the Google Duo app on your smartphone or tablet. The Android devices running the latest version may have Google Duo as a pre-installed video calling app. If not, you can install the Google Duo Android app from Google Play Store. iOS users need to download the app from the iOS App Store. Once installed, launch the app and give permissions to read your contacts and use your camera & microphone.

setup google duo app

Enter your mobile number and complete the signup process by entering the activation code that you received. After completing the setup process, Google Duo will sync the Duo contacts that you have stored on your device. Now, you can start making video or audio calls to any person you want.

How to Make Calls on Google Duo

Once you completed the setup process, Google Duo will present all the features on its main screen. Upon launching, the app will open up the front camera displaying recent contacts at the bottom of the screen. To view all your contacts, swipe up the app screen from the bottom. Select the contact that you want and tap either Voice Call or Video Call to contact them.

NOTE – You can use the search bar to find your contacts with ease.

Google Duo also provides the option to send personalized video/audio messages. Instead of Video Call or Audio call, tap the Message icon and record a personalized video or audio. You can also send images and notes via Google Duo.

Create Group and Make Group Video Calls

Google Duo presents options to make group video calls with 12 participants. Just swipe up the app screen and click Create group to create a new group. Select up to 12 members, enter a name, and create your group. Once created, it will appear below the Groups section.

Google Duo Group Calls

Select the group name to view its information. By clicking on the Start icon will initiate the video call or click Message to send them personalized video messages. Once you finished the call, just click the Hangup icon to end the call.

NOTE – Google Duo doesn’t support making group audio calls.

Knock Knock Feature

Google Duo has an interesting live preview video feature called Knock Knock. By default, the feature will be enabled automatically upon downloading the app. With this feature’s help, you can see a live video of your caller before attending the call.

How to disable Knock Knock feature

If you want to disable this feature,

Step 1: Click the three-dot menu on the top right corner of the app.

Step 2: Select Settings.

Step 3: On the next screen, choose Call Settings.

Step 4: Select Knock Knock for this device.

Step 5: Disable the feature by tapping the slider located next to its name.

Knock Knock feature

Other Features

Apart from Knock Knock, Google Duo also provides three more exciting features: Low Light mode, Duo moments, and Data Saving mode.

Low Light mode

It helps the user to connect face-to-face, even in low light conditions. It brightens the user’s face in less-than-optimal lighting conditions so that other people can view them clearly. To use this mode, you should enable it from your settings. Once enabled, start a video call and then tap the three-dot menu icon located on the right bottom corner of the screen. Select Low Light, and the Gooogle Duo app will enhance the lighting automatically.

Google Duo Low Light Mode

Duo moments

It is an exciting feature to take and share pictures during calls. Make use of this feature to capture a side-by-side picture of both people in full screen. Once you started the video call, tap the circle icon located above the three-dot icon. Within a fraction of seconds, the screenshot will be taken and stored on your device.

Google Duo Moments

Data Saving mode

Data saver don’t need any introduction. By enabling, it limit’s your data usage by adjusting the video quality automatically.

To manage these features:

  • Click the menu icon (three-dot) on the top right corner.
  • Select Settings.
  • Click Call Settings.
  • Turn on/off these features according to your convenience.
Google Duo Settings

Google Duo Web

Google Duo is also accessible as a web version through browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. As Google Duo is not available for PC versions, Windows and Mac users can use this feature for video calling facilities. However, the features in the web version are limited. For example, you can’t create and make group calls through the web version. It supports only one-to-one video or audio calls.

Google Duo Web

Invite Friends to Google Duo

Google Duo has the option to invite the people who aren’t signed for Google Duo. You can send the invite link right from your Google Duo app. Launch the Duo app and swipe the screen to view all your contacts. Initially, the app will display the contacts who are signed up for Google Duo. By swiping down the list, you can view the invite button next to the contacts who haven’t installed Google Duo. Tap the Invite button and select your medium to send the link.

On Android devices, you can also send invite link by:

  • Swipe up the app screen and select Invite friends.
  • Tap on the Invite button located next to the required contact.
  • Compose an invite message and select the medium to share the invitation link.
Invite Friends

Common FAQ’s

Can you use Google Duo without a phone number?

No. Google Duo relies on your mobile number to make video/audio calls. You may use the app without configuring your Google account.

Is Google Duo accessible on laptop and mac?

Yes. You can use Google Duo on the laptops with the help of the web version. Until now, there is no dedicated app support for laptops and desktops.

Is Google Duo free?

Yes. You can download and use Google Duo without any charge. You can all use the features for free.

Is Google Duo safe?

Without any doubt, Google Duo is entirely safe to use, even for Kids. Owned by Google, the chats are end-to-end encrypted, and no one including Google can view your calls.