We're all on our desktops for video conferences hours on end, but when it comes to hitting up all the people you need to without having to grab the phone you threw into a corner to avoid distraction, well, it's still a dilemma — especially if you use WhatsApp, where voice and video calls are still mobile-only features. But there are signs of a remedy for that need coming soon.
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.
The latest beta release of the Signal desktop app has picked up a feature the mobile app has had now for years: video and voice calling. Unfortunately, they're one-on-one for now, but it's already live on macOS, Windows, and Linux.
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Gmail's rather obnoxious Google Meet integration began to roll out widely to users of the app today on Android, signaling that the space-wasting UI tweak is moving full steam ahead. Our devices have started receiving it, and it's just as annoying as you'd expect, eating a solid 10-20% of your Gmail inbox list UI depending on how long your display is. It's a blatant attempt to shoehorn Meet into an extremely popular Google app, as Google commits to offensive action in the videoconferencing wars.
Ever since the coronavirus pandemic struck, Zoom has been taking over the world of video conferencing. Many other companies have realized that and have started offering or improving their own video calling services — see Google Meet, Duo, Microsoft Teams, and others. Indian telecommunications company Reliance Jio also wants a slice of the cake and has launched its own approach to video conferencing, JioMeet.
While some of us spend very little time on the phone, it's still very important that we can make and respond to calls in the most intuitive ways possible. That might involve knowing where buttons are and what direction to swipe, what to look for on a screen, or how some things will react to gestures and button presses. The latest update to the Google Phone app reveals it's about to get a popular feature for muting call ringers by simply flipping the phone over.
Based on at least one report we've received, Google may be testing adding Duo integration into the Messages web app. A new prompt may be appearing for some, implying that Duo will be using your contacts in Messages to check for availability on Duo, which links to a support document by Google which confirms this integration. Following this prompt, a new icon for Duo-based video calling appears in supported conversations on Messages.
Google released Duo alongside Allo, and unlike that app, Duo is still going strong. After seeing hints of Duo web support for the last few weeks, the service is going live. Simply head over to the Duo site, and you can place calls from your browser.