We aren't at the point yet where every Android phone is able to transcribe voice calls in real time, but what Google is doing with its video chat service Duo is a good first step: the app is now enabling captions for recorded voice and video messages.
Last December, Google released its first feature drop for Pixel devices, kicking off a routine of bringing new capabilities to the phones each quarter. Included in the first drop was something called auto-framing for Google Duo. With auto-framing enabled, you can walk further away from your device, and Duo will zoom in to keep you focused and even follow you around the room so long as you stay within the shot. This feature had always been exclusive to Pixel 4, but it's now available on Samsung's Galaxy S20 range.
Back in November 2019, Google reworked Duo's in-call interface and moved the controls to the bottom, making them more easily accessible on larger screens. Surprisingly, when the change rolled out to all users, the video off toggle vanished from the bottom bar and was nowhere to be found. After being gone for months, Google appears to be gradually bringing it back, letting you turn your camera off during a call.
At the end of last month, Google announced that Duo would be coming to the slightly bigger screen in "the coming weeks." Sure enough, the video calling app is now available on Android TV — you can install it remotely from Google Play on the web or in the Play Store app on your device itself — but it's not fully functional just yet.
It's been almost a year since Microsoft first teased the Surface Duo, and our review unit just showed up last week. While we can't talk about the software experience quite yet, we can answer one question we have received from several readers: how does the hinge feel?
There may be effective ways to convince people to use an app, but it seems that Google's App Preview Messages were not one of them. The program, which notified Android users when someone is trying to communicate with an app they haven't installed, is officially deprecated, having never left its early access stage in the 4 years it has existed.
We've been using video calls more than ever in the past few months, and probably will continue to for the foreseeable future. It's tough not being able to travel to see your loved ones, but Google is making things a bit easier by announcing beta Android TV support for its Duo video calling service.
Google currently has two video chat services, Duo and Meet. Duo is specifically a calling application, originally intended to be used alongside the now-defunct Allo messaging service, and Meet is a video conferencing utility. However, the two services have started to become more alike over the past few months, and a new report says the services may eventually merge.
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.