Google's latest messaging platforms, Allo and Duo, have been receiving tons of updates to beef up their features and bring them in line with the swath of competitors on the market. Today's Duo update brings a handful of new features, one of which was announced and launched only in Brazil just last week, and includes audio-only conversations as an option in place of the traditional video calls from the app. Once launched as a way to quickly and easily make video calls, Duo is slowly making its evolution to a platform that's designed to hold all your person-to-person conversations, whether that means looking at the person or just hearing them speak.
Google is also adding Truecaller integration to Duo users in India today, giving users the option to directly dial anyone in their phonebook by utilizing the Truecaller dialer, which then routes the call or video through the Duo service. This opens up Duo to hundreds of millions of Truecaller users in India, although just like the audio-only launch in Brazil, this feature could be coming to International waters in the very near future. This sort of platform integration with other highly used services will certainly help Duo spread, and with the inclusion of Duo into the standard Google Services package on all Android phones, Duo should continue to expand its user base as customers pick up new phones in 2017 and beyond.
On a less than positive note, this move to provide audio calls through Duo continues to muddy the waters of what service users should be using for their needs. Google's messaging clients are many, to say the least, and nearly all of them have some sort of feature overlap. This overlap of both services and features has fragmented user bases, and even caused confusion as to what service folks should stick with and which ones they should be moving to. Hangouts is yet another service that has significantly evolved in recent months, only to have team leaders say the service isn't going anywhere for consumers at the same time. Whether or not Google decides on one platform to rule them all, or to continue on their path of multiple products to serve different needs remains to be seen, but for now, you can enjoy the new Duo features by hitting up the Play Store for the update!