As part of today's Pixel 4a festivities, Google has also announced a new feature that's coming to older Pixels as well. Remember Google's Live Caption feature that transcribes speech in real-time, on-device, for things like videos? Well, Live Caption will now also work for video and voice calls — more useful than ever in these socially distant times.
Looking sharp for your next video call just got a whole new meaning with Google Duo's latest addition. To celebrate the dry summer, the app is rolling out a fun new AR effect that lets you transform yourself into a cactus.
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.
This story was originally published and last updated .
While Zoom may be the defacto video calling and conferencing app of 2020, many of us are probably using it more out of convenience than anything else. And while video calling and conferencing are two distinctly different things—a set time and place call-in meeting versus a often on-the-fly call-out chat—the lines between the two are increasingly blurred with so many of us working from home.
If you're looking to get out of the Zoom bubble for your smaller work meetings or social calls with friends and family, Google Duo is actually a pretty awesome option, and we'll break down just why that is in this post.
The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent quarantine it caused have made video calling services a mainstay of every household. While Zoom's popularity has skyrocketed, other services have done their best to catch up. Google's Duo added more features than we can count over the past few months, and upped the group call limit from 8 to 12 in March. That capacity has now been increased again to 32.
Last week, Google Duo started rolling out a long-awaited feature that let others reach you over your email address, which meant you didn't have to share your phone number with anyone you wanted to video call. When we covered the news, we tried setting up Duo from scratch using only an email address, but discovered we still needed a phone number for the first sign-up. It turns out there's a nuance: you do need a phone number on phones, but not on tablets.
Google has made good on its earlier promise to expand the number of participants in Duo video calls. Support for up to 32-person calls is now rolling out for Duo on Chrome, ramping up the platform's ability to scale to compete with Zoom calls.
The last few months have seen a skyrocketing use of video calling, be it for work or personal communication. Some services, like Zoom or Google Meet, made joining calls easier for groups of people by simply sharing a link, and now Duo is catching up to them.
Since its launch in 2016, Google Duo has used end-to-end encryption for calls, messages, notes, and all kinds of communications carried through it. That encryption is one of the reasons we recommend using Duo to catch up with friends and family, but most users may not be aware of it. Now Google is boasting this privacy-centric approach for everyone to see, and while it's at it, it added the option to send more emojis to your contacts.