A new teardown of the latest (26) version of Google's dedicated video calling app Google Duo suggests that new messaging features are on the way and that the app will soon require more permissions. There is also a new line of code hinting at a dialogue to be displayed if a user should sign into Duo on more than one device. For those who may not already know, a teardown generally unpacks and takes a deeper look at the inactive source code found in the APK file of a given application.
The biggest incoming change appears to be a feature that allows video or audio messages to be sent even when the recipient is offline. That would seem to bring the functionality of Google Duo closer to a mixture of the dedicated video calling app it already is and something like Glide, an instant messenger centered around video content. While the feature itself had previously already been spotted in a teardown, the new strings now suggest it will be called Clip. That's hinted via a dialogue for two new permissions enabling camera and microphone access, as well as button text tied to the "Clip" which is indicative of a play, send, delete, and save functionality. Beyond that, there is some new dialogue in the code for showing exactly who left a specific Clip and for leaving a new Clip message for somebody who can't answer their device. Finally, the new code points to a message box that displays if a user runs out of space and can't view a given message as a result. Aside from that, the message which shows when the user has activated Duo on another device – which is generally not allowed by the application – has been drastically shortened. It now reads, "Duo has been activated on another device," as shown in the image below. It had previously also indicated that calls would no longer be received on the device displaying the message.
Finally, the permissions for Duo have been revised specifically to deal with OEM-specific Android overlays for various companies and some third-party launchers. It would appear that there is something about those individual manufacturers or launchers which requires extra permissions in order to read and write to icon badges. Three of the new permissions code instances apply specifically to a more general Android installation, while others in the newly found code point to permissions for HTC, Sony, Huawei, and OPPO devices. Even the Sony Ericsson brand is mentioned despite not existing for nearly six years now. None of the newly uncovered features are guaranteed to be brought to a final release of the application.