Google Duo video calls now support up to 32 participants all at once on Android, according to recent reports. For clarity, that's the user who starts the call and 31 other people. The feature is rolling out now and comes with a new message on startup to highlight the change. The message also indicates that users can now send video messages to groups.
Now, there shouldn't be any action needed on the part of users to get the newest features. Instead, this appears to be a server-side change that's making its way across available versions. So the new greeting message should simply appear once the changes are made.
Others may not notice the message at all, though, as there appears to be some inconsistency in that showing up. Regardless, the change means exactly what the greeting says. Groups can now be created and users can also send handwritten notes, images, audio, and video messages. Audio group calls with up to 32 participants are supported too. And should be appearing for everybody sooner than later.
What is Google Duo?
The use of Google Duo has been growing steadily due to ongoing global health issues. It is, in effect, Google's competing service for the likes of Zoom, Skype, and other popular group calling apps. But health concerns and working or learning from home aren't the only reason its use has exploded.
Google built the calling service up, focusing on a wealth of features. That includes the ability to send video or photo messages with handwritten or typed captions. So it serves as a kind of do-all messaging app. And it also works with smart home hubs and tablets, in addition to mobile and the web.
One of the app's best features is an AI-driven solution called WaveNetEQ. That essentially acts to automatically correct and hide audio issues in Google Duo calls. The result is a smoother, less distorted experience than offered by some of the competition. And, of course, end-to-end encryption is touted as a core tenet too. So privacy-concerned users can benefit as well from the app.
Google Duo has already seen a plethora of changes on Android and off
Now, Google has steadily introduced new features as well. But there aren't going to be any UI changes with this update. Instead, these changes are meant to essentially bring things up to speed with where Google Duo is elsewhere. For instance, the service has supported as many participants on the web since just short of a month ago.
That follows on previous updates that took the total first from four users to eight and then from eight to twelve. the last previous update was back in March, as far as the mobile app is concerned.
What's more, this update should also deliver a somewhat better experience for end-users regardless. The web variant, while capable of calling between 32 participants at once, is reliant on Chrome to work. That's because of differences in how the experiences are coded. The web variant utilizes Chrome's most recent WebRTC API updates. Android doesn't appear to require those. But at any rate, any app is going to be more readily at-hand than a website would be.