Google Duo offers a lot of fun effects when you're on a video call, but until now, you could apply them in an ongoing one-on-one call. With the latest app updates, it's possible to pick an effect before the other person responds, as a fun surprise for them. Effects are also live in group video chats.

The ability to apply effects before starting the call started rolling out server-side in late June. It went live for us in v94 of Duo (APK Mirror) but it could possibly be available in older versions too. Simply pick a contact, tap to start a video call, and you'll see the effects icon on the bottom right, next to the red hang-up one. Just pick one of the effects — some of the latest additions include a graduation hat, a Pride rainbow leopard, and purple fireflies.

The effect will be applied while the call is still ringing, before the other person answers. If you have Knock Knock enabled, this means they'll see the fun face before they pick up. And if not, they'll have a cute surprise when they do answer.

Effects are now also available while making group video calls, so you can have fun with all your friends or family members.

These aren't what I'd call major changes, but it'll be fun to try them when calling kids or older family members, to bring a smile to their face.

Effects in group calls

The post has been updated with information about effects' availability in group calls too.

  • Thanks:
  • Nick Cipriani