After announcing Duo at I/O 2016 earlier this year, Google last week began rolling out the video calling app to users on Android and iOS platform. And within just one week of its release, the app has already crossed 5 million downloads on the Android devices. And in this one week, the Google Duo app has also managed to make its way up to the top of the top free apps list on the Google Play Store. Few hours ago, Google CEO Sundar Pichai made the announcement about growing success of the Duo app.
Google Duo now over 5M Android downloads in a week! https://t.co/ctwn131gYq
— sundarpichai (@sundarpichai) August 25, 2016
The video-calling app by Google is steadily moving forward to compete with the much more popular apps like Microsoft’s Skype and Apple’s FaceTime. And the primary reason why Google Duo is picking up so much popularity is the sheer simplicity of the app. Although there certain popular features like video conferencing, and video filters that Google Duo has missing, but the universality of the app is what gives it an edge. While Apple’s FaceTime limits connectivity to iOS users exclusively, Microsoft’s Skype forces users to sign up and create an account with them. However, all Google Duo requires is a mobile number to access the app, just like WhatsApp. Once registered the contact number, all of users’ contacts list on the app, from where they can just tap and dial a video call.
Considering that the biggest irksome idea about video calls is choppy video and difficulty in connectivity, the Google Duo app aims to resolve this problem. Google says the video calling app has been designed in a manner so that it connects easily on Wi-Fi or on-the-go. Also, with changing network conditions the app adjusts it call quality, keeping the calls from being abruptly disconnected. That said, the current version of the app isn’t very efficient with frequent call drops and freezing of video streams. Also read: Google Duo first impressions: A no-frills video calling app that needs performance improvement
Another very interesting feature of the app is the Knock Knock feature, which shows a live video of the caller even before a user answers a call. The feature lets a user peep into the caller’s end, know where they, why they may be calling, even before answering them.
Besides all that, privacy being an important issue presently, Google claims to cater well for it too. Google insists that the Duo video calling app has been created with great emphasis on security and privacy and so all the calls made are end-to-end encrypted. This essentially means, that whenever a user dials a video call, the content and information exchanged in that call or about the call remains between the caller and the recipient, and is not accessible to any third party.
Google Duo has managed to grab huge traction in such a brief time. But it remains to be seen whether the app performance improves along with more users coming onboard, and if it could surpass the likes of popular video calling apps like FaceTime and Skype.