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Google launches FaceTime competitor, video-calling app Duo
New app, first announced at Google I/O, is simple and cross-platform.
During its developer conference this year, Google announced two new apps designed to take on incumbents in video calling and chat: Duo and Allo. Perhaps the fastest and most accurate way to describe Duo is as a cross-platform FaceTime competitor.
Duo’s pitch is that it’s simple and will work on both iOS and Android, even on slow connections. Thus it contemplates a global audience, including developing markets where mobile connection speeds are still much slower. According to an interview with Google’s VP of communication products, Nick Fox, a “secondary motive” for Duo is to entice iPhone users to switch to Android.
Duo boasts a clever feature called Knock Knock, “which lets you see live video of your caller before you answer, giving you a sense of what they’re up to and why they want to chat.”
Duo replaces Google Hangouts for consumers. Originally positioned as the successor to Google Talk and GChat, Hangouts will now become a B2B or enterprise-focused product.
Whereas Duo is one-to-one, Hangouts can host group calling. For this reason, Google isn’t simply shuttering Hangouts, although one can argue that Hangouts now joins the list of Google products that fell short of expectations (or failed).