To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Google Duo: Everything you need to know including features and release date

Google Duo

The Google Duo video-calling app finally releases, but what’s it all about?

Video calling on your smartphone still seems like something of a futurist’s fantasy – it’s all a little too Star Trek for my liking. There have been some pretty good stabs at it in the past, but it’s never been quite as simplistic and easy to use as I’d hoped. But that might now be set to change thanks to Google Duo.

While Skype and the like are still hugely popular, they’re mostly used for free long-distance calls, rather than to see each other’s faces. Taking on Apple’s FaceTime, Google is bringing video calling to the masses, launching Google Duo for iOS devices and quite predictably, Android too.

I’ve been using Google Duo since release, so I’ve put together a guide on everything you need to know about the interesting new video-chat app.

What is Google Duo?

There’s nothing particularly fancy about Google Duo. It’s a pretty barebones video-calling app – but a great one at that. Its simplicity is its main selling point: there are no fancy Snapchat-style filters or confusing bells and whistles, just tap “Call” and you’re good to go. Perfect for your nosey gran who still hasn’t quite grasped 21st-century technology.

On the receiving end, the “Knock Knock” feature gives the callee a handy little preview of the incoming video call, so they know what to expect when picking up the phone.

If you’re worried about data usage and connection issues, though, it’s altogether a very seamless experience, with video resolution lowering automatically in response to network conditions, in the same vein as Netflix streaming. It will also easily jump from Wi-Fi to 4G, so your conversations should continue while you’re on the move.

Google Duo: When is the release date and how do I download it?Google Duo call

Good news! Google Duo has recently released in the UK on both iOS and Android devices after what seemed like quite a long wait. If you’re up for trying out the new video-chat app, head on over to Google Play if you’ve got an Android device, or the App Store if you’re an Apple owner. Just download the app as normal – which only takes up around 7.5MB of storage space – register your phone number and you’ll be good to go.