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A lot of iOS users use FaceTime for video calls between devices. It’s particularly useful when calling from another country as it can be used over Wi-Fi.
However, a key drawback is that FaceTime can only be used between iOS or MacOS users on either an iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
So what’s the solution? Well, Google has just launch a brand-new, minimalist and simplified video app that will solve any FaceTime incompatibility woes between friends.
Available on both iPhone and Android, the app can make calls between devices. The purpose is that no matter what OS users are on, no matter what kind of device they’re on, users can make video calls to each other.
As Google’s VP of communications products Nick Fox said: “It shouldn’t just work on high-end devices,” said Fox. “It should work on high-end devices and on $50 Android phones in India.”
Here’s how it works. First, download Google Duo from the App Store (as of right now, it’s rolling out globally, so if it’s not available in your region’s App Store yet, it will be soon.)
Sign up with your phone number and then enter the code you receive via SMS to verify.
You’ll notice the UI is incredibly understated and settings are few and far between – simply select a contact to call them. Of course, the other person needs the app too, but Duo allows you to invite others via the app easily.
So what other features does it have? Well, the app can switch between cellular and Wi-Fi so your call shouldn’t drop if your connection gets patchy, while all calls are end-to-end encrypted as well.
When it comes to the actual calling, Duo makes use of a feature it calls Knock Knock. This means when calling someone, the other person will see a video preview of yourself, and vice versa, though the recipient’s video won’t start until they answer the call. If you don’t like the idea of this, Knock Knock can be turned off in Settings.
Watch the video below to see it in action:
Google Duo is available for free on the App Store.