Google has today announced that it is making the option to video call people one that is much more embedded within the core Android experience, by integrating the feature with other Android core apps. What Google has specifically announced here is that going forward users of devices that receive the new feature will be able to start a video call directly from the Phone app, the Contacts app, and/or the Messages app.
By Phone, Contacts, and Messages, this is referring to the stock Android version of these apps as this is the level of integration that Google is speaking of. In other words, those who own a phone that runs a stock version of Android (or a version which comes with these stock apps) will see the feature arriving shortly. In fact, Google confirmed in today's announcement that the first-generation Google Pixel phones, Android One phones, and Nexus phones, will be the first to see the update arrive. In addition to confirming the greater integration will also be in effect on the Pixel 2 and 2 XL when those devices start shipping out to buyers. For those running a non-stock version of these apps, Google does note that it is “working with our carrier and device partners to bring this experience to more Android devices over time.”
What this really means is that Google’s video calling service, Google Duo, is now becoming more integrated into Google’s other core apps. This was actually something that had been expected as the feature was noted as showing up in the latest version of the stock Phone app earlier this week. However, today’s announcement sees the tighter integration becoming more official now and further explaining how some of it will work. For example, Google notes that if the caller and person receiving the call are using a device that supports its carrier's ViLTE video calling, then the call will be made through the ViLTE video calling service. In instances where the support is not offered the video will be routed through the Google Duo app - providing both parties have the app installed. It is also worth noting that this is only the start of the integration as Google also explains that more features will become available in due course, such as the ability to upgrade from an audio call to a video call, during the call.