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.
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.
Duo has started to establish itself in Google's Android suite of apps and products, and the company has recently been preparing to integrate it further into its existing apps and thus make it easier for any Duo user to video call their contacts. Now we have one integration going live and two on the way.
Duo video call option on the in-call screen
Artem spotted this on the in-call screen of the new Pixel 2 XL during Google's event last week. A "video call" button shows up when talking to a contact who has enabled Duo, and tapping it hangs up the current voice call and starts a Duo video call with that person.
Today Google is launching a new version of Allo that will allow you to start calls in Duo straight from the app. Both Nick Fox, VP of Communications Products, and Amit Fulay, head of product for Allo and Duo, have made tweetstoday about the new update. Integration between the two services has been a long-time coming.
Ever wanted to hang out with friends and watch some silly YouTube videos without actually having to hang out with friends watching silly YouTube videos? Well, you're in luck, as Yahoo-owned Tumblr has just released Cabana for Android. First launched on iOS in April, the app allows you to video call your mates and watch the same videos together at the same time.
As a major component of what appears to be a big push to revamp its messaging offerings, Google has announced Duo, a video calling app. As the name suggests, it is focused solely on two-person video conversations.
Unlike Allo, which Google insists is bringing some fundamentally new features, Duo is all about simplicity.
As far as novel features go, the closest we get is that when you receive a video call, you can see the live video of the caller before you answer.
WhatsApp has been steadily adding more and more features over the past year and that is not slowing down. In the last few months, we've run across dozens of tips of upcoming WhatsApp options, some that are already live, others that are starting to materialize, and several that are still tagged with a big question mark. We're compiling here a few of the latter and most interesting rumors and tips, but do take them with a grain of salt. Some of them might really happen, others could be scrapped off.
There's no limit to what you can build in Minecraft. From a one-to-one scale model of the Starship Enterprise to a working CPU, the block-based video game has seen practically everything. Fans of the game like to spend time on large-scale constructions, and the engineers at Verizon seem to be some of the biggest fans around. Staying true to what the company is known for, they've taken it upon themselves to extend the network's wireless coverage into the virtual world and build a working smartphone in Minecraft. The result is admittedly very cool.
The phone may not have all the conveniences of a modern smartphone: the roughly 2000-inch display has a screen resolution of about 40 by 30 pixels, which gives it a rather lowish pixel density of around 0.0254 ppi.
Get this. Before now, Snapchat wasn't good for actually chatting. I know, for an app with chat in the name, you would understandably expect it to foster some form of conversations (the snappy kind, at least). But until now, users have only been able to take photos or short video clips, doodle on them, add captions, set how long the recipient could view them, and share. The app was less about communicating and more about, well, other stuff. But now the company has added instant messaging to the app, along with live video chatting.
Snapchat's video chats feel more spontaneous than traditional calls.
AT&T has long had a chip on its shoulder when it comes to video chat apps running on its network. It took a few years to enable Apple's solution, but Android users were stymied just last week when the new Hangouts app refused to connect to video calls over AT&T's 3G and 4G. The rationale the carrier is using to justify its decision is incredibly convoluted, to say the least. However, things are going to change in the second half of 2013.
AT&T makes a bizarre distinction between apps that are downloaded, and those that are included on the phone. Hangouts replaces Talk, so even though it's new to Google Play, AT&T considers it a pre-installed app.