More details on Google Duo’s voice messaging service has now surfaced. This is something that has been expected to arrive for some time due to lines of code embedded in the most recent versions of the app suggesting so. However, 9to5Google have now managed to activate the feature through the latest version of the app - version 28.
At present, holding down a contact’s name in Duo opens a menu which allows the user to choose between voice calling, video calling, and blocking the contact. In contrast, once the new feature is live users will also gain the option to “Send voice message.” Choosing this option will launch a voicemail like interface where users can record (and re-record if necessary) a message and then send it to the user. At the recipient level, users will see a play icon attached to the sender’s contact advising of the new voice message and allowing direct playback of the message. It also seems as though callers will be able to opt to ‘leave a voice message’ if they are in the process of calling someone and the contact is not answering. As part of the report - which includes a teardown of the latest APK - there also seems to be a number of other improvements to new features. For example, the ability to share a screen with someone will come with a new pill-shaped icon for quicker activation and deactivation, along with a permanent notification advising screen-sharing is still in effect. Likewise, a recently reported on ‘Guest mode’ is now said to be in reference to using Duo with just a phone number, compared to those who choose to link their Duo account with their Google account.
It is worth keeping in mind that in spite of these features now appearing in the app at the code level (and in some cases, having been activated) they are not guaranteed to become live features. The code strings found are simply used to highlight features and services that Google currently seems to be experimenting with. Therefore, no matter how far down the line they seem to be in development terms, there is always the chance they won’t show up at all, or will arrive different to how they are described here.