Duo is Google’s video calling app (this year) and while it does not have the bells and whistles that many other video calling apps do it is still widely used. After today’s update it will most likely be used even more.

Duo is favoured by many users because of its ease of use. It is simply a call and answer functionality and that is about it. Easy for all non-tech Mums, Dads and Grandparents to wrap their heads around. Today Google has made it even easier to use.

In an update to the Google Phone app today Google have introduced the ability to:

  • Make Duo calls from within the Phone app
  • Initiate a Duo call from the call log, search or contacts card
  • Change from a voice call to a Duo call in the midst of the call

At this stage most of the features are available here except for the ability to switch from a voice call to a video call (Pixel 2 XL to Pixel XL). I was able to initiate a Duo call from the call log and the contacts card but the video icon did not appear for me while in a phone call. The folks over at Android Police had this functionality working so maybe it is gradually rolling out?

Android Police found that the phone call hangs up automatically when the video icon is tapped and the call switches to Duo without any gap. The video call apparently takes over instantly. If the video call goes unanswered or there is no response from the recipient for too long the call goes back to the audio call (I’ll have to be careful when calling my Mum with this).

Image credit: Android Police

After a video call the Duo call also appears in the call log as well as any audio calls, including the one that the video call was initiated from.

Hopefully this added functionality will be available to all phones soon as I have no doubt that I will end up using Duo a lot more if it does.

Is it working for you? Will you use Duo more now?

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Philip Clark

There’s no way to use the Google phone app on non-Pixel phones (say, a Galaxy S8) is there?