Google Duo May Get Group Calls, ChromeOS Support, And More

Google Duo App AH 1

The lead engineer of Google Duo has suggested that a number of new features will be coming to the app. Google initially announced Duo back at Google I/O 2016, where it was revealed alongside messaging client Allo. Eventually, the two apps launched a few months after but, despite an initial peak in interest, they haven’t proved to be as popular as expected. However, this could all be about to change for Duo, as Duo’s lead engineer, Justin Uberti, just suggested that new features are coming.

In terms of competition, Duo competes directly with the likes of Skype and Facetime, as well as WhatsApp’s video call feature, but it, unfortunately, lacks a number of highly-requested extras, despite the app boasting over 100 million Play Store downloads. Thanks to a tweet sent out by Uberti, though, it appears this lack of features could be coming to an end, something that would put the app on par with its competitors. Among the features suggested to be coming soon is the ability to have group video calls, something its biggest competitor, Skype, has boasted for years. Not only this, but it appears Google is actively working towards bringing the app to the millions of ChromeOS users, as well as improving the overall call quality. Lastly, and perhaps one of the most requested features, is a web client, much like the one Skype offers PC users. Now, it is worth noting that these features have not been confirmed by Google itself, but with the recent announcement of the Smart Display platform, which is intended to compete with Amazon’s Echo Show, Google Duo is set to form a fundamental part of it. After all, each of the devices announced so far includes a front-facing camera designed with video calls made through the app in mind. However, Smart Display devices will not only make use of Google Duo. In fact, the new devices will be heavily centered around Google Assistant, with voice commands expected to play an important role in using them.

Google is yet to confirm if or when any of these listed Duo features will become available to consumers, but considering Smart Display devices are set for summer releases, it’s likely that the features will coincide with the release of the devices in the hope of pushing more consumers onto the video calling platform.