Google Duo, the search giant’s standalone video calling app that launched back in 2016, has been one of the company’s few select social communications app that has been received well. Over the years, the app has been constantly evolving and has also found it’s home as the native function for video calling in OnePlus’ OxygenOS 9. Today, Duo is receiving a bunch of new features that further improve the app’s reach.
First up is group video calling. Duo will now let up to 8 users join a group video call and the feature is available to users on both, Android and iOS. The group calls are end-to-end encrypted, like with other features such as video messages and individual video calls. This feature is especially important in markets where rival services like Skype or WhatsApp are prevalent for group video calling.
The firm is also adding a data saving mode to the app for users in markets like Brazil, Indonesia, and India. When enabled, data usage reduces for both the parties that are in-call. WhatsApp too offers a similar option, and the ability to cap data usage on Duo can prove to be a useful feature for those with limited data allowances. The firm adds that this feature will make its way to more markets in the coming months.
Lastly, Duo will now let you personalize video messages. The voicemail-like video message feature will now let users add text, emojis or drawings on video messages. However, the video message can only be 30 seconds long, as it has been forever, and there are no changes to the video duration. It is to be noted that the update with all these features is gradually rolling out to users, and should make it to all regions over the course of the next few days. If you haven’t received the update yet, it should make it to your device sooner than later.
Do you use Google Duo for personal video calling and are these features something you’ve been waiting for? Let us know in the comments!