Google Duo App Update Hides Control Buttons During Calls

The latest version of the Google Duo video calling app is now on its was out. This update brings the Duo app up to version 12 and while the Play Store listing does only refer to the usual 'bug fixes and product improvements' at the moment, there does seem to be another feature that is also included with this update. One which not actually adds to the interface, but technically, takes away from it.

This is in relation to the on-screen experience when engaged on a call through Duo. Before this update, and once a call was established, various buttons would remain on-screen throughout the call. These buttons typically consisted of an option to switch between the front and rear cameras, to mute the conversation, as well as the option to end the call. While these buttons are still present in the updated version, they now disappear from view a short time after the call has been initiated. Essentially resulting in the screen just showing the ongoing call. If needed, the user can at any point relaunch the buttons by tapping on the screen.

At the moment that seems to largely be the extent of what is known to be new in this version of the Duo Android app. Although, Android Police did tear down the app and in the process of doing so noted some additional features that may go live in the near future. The first is the ability to make use of a low-bandwidth audio mode. It seems this is mainly designed for those on a limited or temperamental data connection and will allow the app to switch to this mode to ensure audio calls (which was only recently introduced) can be maintained with less issues. The other notable feature revealed in the teardown is that there will be some new notifications coming to the app. Notifications which allow the user to either be informed when any of their contacts start using the Duo app, or when new features for the Duo app become available. According to the information, these two specific notifications will be separate - the user will be able to opt into either, both, or neither.

As mentioned, this latest version of the Duo app does already seem to be in the process of rolling out to devices. So if you have the Duo app installed already, it will arrive in due course. Alternatively, you can download and sideload a copy of the latest APK through the link below. To recap, once updated, only the removal of the on-screen in-call buttons will be noticed. As the other features detailed here are only showing up at the code string level and not as part of the current release.

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John Anon

Editor-in-Chief
John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]