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BW Businessworld

Google Calling Google: Google Duo

Google is in the space where Microsoft was in early years of Google when it was driving the Microsoft users offline population online to its products

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Google maybe a giant but the company has its own series of failures. One area where Google has failed over and over again is the social scene, building social properties like Orkut, Hangouts and more. While some failed and other not so successful, Facebook has made gains after gains. Google currently is in the space where Microsoft was in early years of Google when it was driving the Microsoft users offline population online to its products.

It hurt Microsoft especially when a clone of your cash cow, Microsoft Office, is suddenly offered free of cost online. While that was a battle between the technology giants a decade ago, it's for years now Google has been trying to get something that engages the users socially, something Facebook has pioneered. Google Duo is another attempt by Google to get it right at least in the chat space.

What is Google Duo?

According to a communication from Google "Google Duo - a simple 1-to-1 video calling app available for Android and iOS. Duo takes the complexity out of video calling, so that you can be together in the moment wherever you are"

WHAT'S GREAT
Interface

One of the best things about Google Duo is its simple interface. Its simplicity stands out. No bells and whistles, no multiple touch buttons, simply open the app and video call.

Knock Knock Feature
Innovative and cool. You can see the caller before you pick up with Duo's live preview feature. It's a great thing in terms of privacy.

Cross Platform
Currently supported on iOS and Android devices.

Video Quality
The quality of video is pretty decent.

WHAT'S NOT GREAT
Standalone

Currently Google Duo is like an island on its own. You can't connect with Hangouts, or chat or any of the Google communication applications. Having said that the simplicty of Duo even has an island does stand out.

Who has it?
That's the biggest problem. Very few people have Duo but considering it's hardly two weeks old I guess with time this problem will be sorted out with new versions of Android having it factory installed.

No Group Calls
Don't attempt a video conference on Duo. Unlike Skype Duo doesn't support it. If Skype is like Corolla, Duo is like Nano. It solves the basic purpose of video calling, more utilitarian than feature rich.

My Take - Power in Simplicity
Let me be honest I was a bit reluctant in downloading Google Duo. My phone is already flooded with apps and to have another app for video calling when I already have Skype besides other apps didn't make sense. However having downloaded Google Duo I have to admit the app has its power in simplicity. Video calling is just one touch away. It's easy and cool. The app is size is merely 7.5 mb for Android.

Will Google Get it right this time?
Facebook is the prefered place where the online population socializes. Google has attempted not once but time and again and it hasn't been really successful. The foundation of Google Duo can itself get shaky once Whatsapp introduces video calling. If this is an attempt to hook people before Whatsapp introduces video calling, I doubt if the required numbers would add up. Having said that the power of Google Duo lies in its simplicity. Another factor that weighs heavily in favor of Duo is its pedigree, it comes from house of Google, which means that it will probably come as a standard factory installation in the future versions of the already super popular Android OS. For now if you don't have an iPhone and Facetime, it's Google Duo that solves that problem. Simple and serves the purpose.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Tags assigned to this article:
google microsoft Video calling Google Duo

Puneet Mehrotra

Puneet Mehrotra is an author and columnist who loves inspiring people and writes on business and technolog

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