Hands-On With Google's New FaceTime-Like 'Duo' App

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This week, Google released a new app called Duo, which allows for FaceTime-style video calling. Unlike FaceTime, though, Duo allows for cross platform calls that work on both Android and iOS mobile devices, so it isn't limited to users who only have an iPhone. In the video below, we went hands on with Duo to see just how well it works and whether it's a serious FaceTime competitor.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

The Duo app is rather simple, with a similar interface on Android and iOS devices. You sign into the app using your phone number, and once logged in, you have a list of contacts to call pulled from the existing contacts in your phone. That's it.

When in a video call, you get many of the features you'd expect from a service like FaceTime, including mute, switching between the rear and front-facing camera, and ending the call. One new feature, however, is called Knock Knock, which is a sort of video caller-ID that lets the person receiving a call see what the caller is doing before answering. Think of it like a FaceTime video preview that's available before the FaceTime call is accepted.

Because Duo uses a phone number for authentication, the app is not available for the desktop, and you are only able to use one device associated with a certain phone number at a time. This may be a deal breaker for those who like to chat on multiple devices, but for those looking for easy video calling, it's worth a try.

We all likely know someone who doesn't use an iPhone, and Duo seems to be a good alternative for those looking for a FaceTime-like feature on Android. Duo is available from the App Store [Direct Link] and Google Play Store and can be downloaded for free.

Tags: Google, Duo

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
49 months ago

Apples brilliant plan of keeping FaceTime and iMessage only on iOS is pretty lame at this day and age. That's basically all an iPhone can do that Android can't. Yet there's a whole world of Android features that iOS cant do.

you're right, things iOS can't do:

• anti-virus
• hidden bitcoin miners for hackers
• ransomware
• ads on webpages that make your phone vibrate
• carrier bloatware
• malware from factory
• download your fingerprints from main memory
• make you signs up for an account that can track your web browsing (fully disclosed to google) if you just want to download Apps from the Store
• Force your friends to use Google Maps if you want to share your location. And if your friends send their location via a vCard, Google takes the libert of "converting" that open and interchangeable file to a closed and private Google Maps URL.
• apps you can't delete, but don't work without a Google/Apple account

And much more!
[doublepost=1471404240][/doublepost]

Too bad FaceTime can't be deleted #BloatediOS

It can (iOS 10).

But don't worry, Google will make sure you don't delete Allo and Duo on your next phone (because that's the only way you'll ever get an update, even on relatively recent Nexus phones!)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago
Apples brilliant plan of keeping FaceTime and iMessage only on iOS is pretty lame at this day and age. That's basically all an iPhone can do that Android can't. Yet there's a whole world of Android features that iOS cant do.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago

Apples brilliant plan of keeping FaceTime and iMessage only on iOS is pretty lame at this day and age. That's basically all an iPhone can do that Android can't. Yet there's a whole world of Android features that iOS cant do.

Apple doesn't have to give you access to things. Deal with it. And enjoy that malware.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago

GoogleRumours.

It's available on iOS so it's still relevant.
[doublepost=1471387945][/doublepost]

why a "facetime-like" app, and not a "facebook's video calling" app? that's what it is, is it not?

What's the difference? They're all video calling apps. This is an Apple site so the more logical comparison is to FaceTime.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago
Downloaded. Deleted.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago
I know Apple is big now, but look at RIM with BBM. They held out on making it cross-platform until they were well beyond irrelevant. I know it doesn't seem like it now, but the same could happen with iMessage/FaceTime.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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