Google exhibits off Duo, its new HD video calling app and reply to Apple’s FaceTime

Google shows off Duo, its new HD video calling app and answer to Apple’s FaceTime

Some have criticised Google for falling behind with regards to social networking and new communications providers, however the firm is how working onerous to catch up. As we speak, the corporate introduced a brand new video calling app referred to as Duo — a excessive-definition app for Android and iOS units.

Duo was unveiled on the heels of Allo, Google’s new sensible messaging app. Why the choice to launch two separate apps? A few causes, it appears. The primary is to maintain the experiences easy and light-weight; and the second: to do one thing slightly totally different from the remainder of the pack. Fb, for instance, has supercharged Messenger with sensible bots, in addition to voice and video calling and extra on prime of its primary textual content messaging service.

Whereas Allo is concentrated on interacting with Google’s assistant bot and with probably many buddies and could also be extra similar to one thing like Messenger, Duo’s comparability is one thing extra like Apple’s FaceTime: you employ it for one-on-one conversations.

With the app solely because of go stay later this yr — possible this summer time, just like Allo — among the many particulars that Google is making public in the present day is a preview function, which provides customers an actual-time picture of the individual calling you earlier than the decision is definitely related. Google calls this Knock Knock.

The opposite factor that Duo is touting is the engineering that has gone into making the video within the app work. Google says it is going to work the identical whether or not your community is superfast or patchy. This in itself, if it actually bears out, can be superb for anybody who has cursed his or her method by way of a nasty Hangout or Skype name.

Duo was constructed by the identical workforce that created WebRTC, engineering director Erik Kay stated immediately on stage at I/O, and it was constructed on a brand new programming protocol, Quic, which it unveiled final yr as a path to rushing up knowledge-heavy purposes that journey over the online.

Whereas Hangouts will live on, the undeniable fact that Hangouts comes with a historical past — some good, some dangerous — can also be why Google opted for a totally totally different branding and expertise for Duo.

As with Allo, Duo will allow you to join with customers in your telephone ebook, providing us yet one more strategy to bypass our cellular carriers when making calls. It’s unclear whether or not it can interoperate with different video providers.

Whereas Allo was uncovered months prior to now, it seems to be like Google has managed to maintain Duo underneath wraps, with the one leak about an upcoming video app in current occasions being of a Periscope-like competitor.