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.
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.