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Duo: Does Google’s New Video Chat App Live Up to the Hype?

Video chat is nothing new, but Duo aims to stand out from the competition. Here are the reasons designers at Google think it's the next big thing.

The tech world is buzzing about the Duo video chat app revealed at Google’s I/O 2016 developer conference. Company reps are confident that Duo will win over Android and iOS users with its thoughtfully designed features. What exactly are these fantastic features that will make everyone fall in love with Duo? Here’s a brief rundown.

Simple and Streamlined
According to Google, about half the people who have video chat capabilities don’t use them. The reason? To much of a hassle. Duo promises to be simpler and easier to use than any other video calling app. In fact, simplicity was one of the main aspects designers focused on when creating Duo. The interface is very straightforward, minimizing the steps it takes to initiate a call. You don’t need a separate account. In fact, you don’t even need to have a Google account.

Read More: Why You Should Never Download Apps From 3rd Party Providers

Faster and More Reliable
Designers also spent a lot of time making sure Duo could work reliably across different networks. The call quality automatically adjusts according to network conditions. If there’s not much bandwidth available, Duo will reduce your video resolution slightly so you can continue your call. If you’re on the move, it will switch between Wi-Fi to cellular data and back as needed, another fail-safe to keep you connected. Of course, it’s still possible for calls to be dropped. It’s just a lot less likely to happen than it would be using another video chat app.

Safe, Secure, and More Personal
Duo uses a secure connection, providing end-to-end encryption for all calls made through the app. This is to ensure that nobody can tap into your calls whether you are using cellular data or Wi-Fi. Designers also wanted to give Duo users a warmer, more personal experience. That’s why they added the Knock Knock feature, which lets you see a live video preview of your caller. (They can’t see you unless you answer, and it only works if the person is in your contacts list).

There’s a lot to love about Google’s Duo. So far, though, you can’t import contacts and there’s no desktop version of the app. Of course, designers say customer feedback will determine whether these features will be added in future updates. Running video of any sort on your mobile device can drain your battery quickly. No matter how functional and fun an app is, you can’t enjoy it with a dead device. Downloading a usage management app can help you save battery power and enjoy the apps you love longer between charges. Be wary of what you download, and only install a trusted power-saving app like PowerPRO from PSafe.