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Articles Tagged:

video call

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WhatsApp 2.19.17 makes it easier to call all participants in a group

Group calls on WhatsApp aren't new. The feature began showing up last May and rolled out to everyone in July, but many users still don't know it exists. The reason is that you couldn't actually call a group, you had to start by calling to one person then add other participants. It wasn't until a few weeks ago that WhatsApp beta added the option to call a group, and now this is available in the stable version of the app.

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Google Duo reaches 1 billion downloads on the Play Store

Back in May of 2016, Google announced two new messaging apps: Allo and Duo. The former, as you probably know, is being killed off in about three months. Duo, however, is still alive and kicking, as it's a pretty good video calling app. It just hit a whopping one billion downloads on the Play Store, which is no small feat.

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[Update: Duo audio calls too] Google Home Hub supports Duo calls, but the recipient will only see your profile pic

When the Google Home Hub leaks first started, everyone was miffed by the absence of a front-facing camera for Duo calls. Later, with the device's official announcement, those leaks were proven to be true, and Google explained that it chose to skip the cam for privacy reasons (though we all know the decision was more likely a matter of competitive pricing.) However, what we didn't know was that the Home Hub would indeed support Duo calls, even without the camera.

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Tip: If you can't video call your contacts on Duo via Assistant (or Smart Displays), try saving their numbers as '+ country code'

A few weeks ago, the Google Duo team rolled out the option to place a video call through Assistant. All you had to say was "Ok Google, video call contact_name" and Duo would open up and make the call to that person. However, at the time, I thought the feature wasn't live for me. Assistant would tell me it's calling the correct person, Duo would open, but it would stay on the main screen, not placing the call. Clearly, something was amiss and I thought it was a bug that would be fixed with time. It wasn't until a few days ago that I figured out the reason it wasn't working: my contacts had their numbers either saved without a country code or with 00 as the international prefix.

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[Update: Duo v37 required] You can now video call people on Duo through Google Assistant

Google Assistant is a quirky little helper. It can grab a feed from your security camera and livestream it on your TV, but for the longest time, it wasn't able to send a message on Allo or start a video call on Duo, Google's own services. The latter is starting to change now, though we knew this was bound to happen with the launch of Smart Displays getting closer.

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InBrief
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Snapchat adds group video chats with up to 16 participants

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Google app v7.20 beta hints at custom hotwords, prepares Duo account linking for smart displays, podcast download management, and more [APK Teardown]

It's time for another Google app update. The beta release of v7.20 follows the trend of making few changes to the interface or functions, but there's a lot to see in a teardown. Thanks to resources harvested from the app, there are clues pointing to a new hotword to wake the Assistant, which may finally mean custom hotwords. We can also see more updates for smart displays and podcast management. There may even be a redesigned order tracking feature coming that keeps better track of status changes.

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Katy Perry uses Google Duo to video chat with Prince Piggy and Lord Markus in her new eccentric music video

I'm not into music videos so I have no idea whether all of Katy Perry's videos are as weird as this one or if this is the exception. And I'm not about to go watch a bunch of her videos to find out either. But truth be told, part of me liked "Hey Hey Hey" both for the lyrics and the video's setup. It reminded me of when I was touringthe Palace of Versailles and the guide explained how people used to gather around to watch the king wake up and how he had to make a show out of it even if he technically slept in another room.

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Google finally enables button to instantly start Duo video calls from ongoing phone calls

During Google's reveal of the Pixel 2 on October 4th, we spotted a new video call button appearing on the Phone's in-call screen. Tapping on it was meant to switch both members to a video call using Google Duo. Google later added details to support articles that implied this functionality was already live, but the button remained hidden through a few updates to Duo and a couple to the Phone app. That changes today as the video call button is now going live in Google's Phone app when you're calling a number registered with Duo.

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Duo v23 hints at new 'Drishti' camera mode, extends video messaging with re-record, and removes some previously spotted camera effects [APK Teardown]

The latest version of Duo began rolling out to users this morning, but there haven't been any visible changes popping up in the live app. As is tradition, especially with Duo, a teardown does turn up a few of the changes we can look forward to in the future. This time, we're looking at yet another camera effect, but this one may actually stick around and make it to users. There is also follow-up on some previous camera effects and the voicemail / videomail feature discussed in previous teardowns.

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