Have Fun With Google's Rival To FaceTime:The New Duo Video-Calling App

By Victor Thomson , Aug 17, 2016 03:21 AM EDT

On Tuesday, August 16, Google launched Duo, a free new video calling application that competes with Apple's native video calling app, FaceTime. The application was first announced at Google I/O in May.

How Google Duo' Stands Out?

Google gives details about its new app on the company's blog. According to the blog post, Google Duo allows users to video call one-on-one other people via their phone number. Duo rolls out globally in 78 languages on iOS 9 and Android.  

The name Duo has been chosen by the high-tech giant in order to highlight the application's focus on one-to-one video calling. Unlike Google Hangouts, there is no group calling function in Google Duo.

According to CNN Money, in order to make its app stand out, Google has added some extra features. For instance, unlike FaceTime, Google Duo allows users to make calls between Android and iOS devices. Google's newly launched app also excels in a few other areas, such as the overall quality of calls and its outstanding user interface.

Google Duo, however, looks a bit bland since it can't do text chat, video effects or group calling. The only way a user can invite someone without Duo to video call is over SMS with an app download link. That might push users to go with a video call competitor app their contacts already have instead of starting from zero.

Can Google Duo Become A Success?

It is still too early to forecast whether the new video-calling app that unites Android and iOS users can help Google recover from its social failures. One of the problems with the new app is the fact that its users will not have the ability to connect with Google's Android SMS app, Spaces, Hangouts, Chat or the upcoming Allo messaging app.

According to Tech Crunch, Google has too many communication apps that would need to be more integrated and intertwined. Another problem is that a new communication app on an already saturated market  will be a hard sell. Duo is coming pretty late into a market where strong and intertwined products such as Apple's iMessage/FaceTime and Facebook Messenger have already a consolidated position.

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