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 Meet, the company's Zoom competitor and successor to Hangouts, has gained plenty of new users and features over the past few months due to the pandemic. With everyone working and playing from home, video chatting is a necessity these days, and Meet might eventually become Google's sole option. Viewing conference calls on TVs and other Chromecast-enabled devices has only been possible by casting your entire phone screen or browser tab until now, but Google has now baked the functionality directly into the Meet interface.
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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.
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.
As modern society rapidly prepares for what will become one of the loneliest times we will likely ever know, it doesn't mean singles have to be stuck in limbo until things return to normal. Dating service Plenty of Fish is launching a new video streaming feature that will make it easier for potential dates to meet virtually without abandoning the practice of social distancing for an IRL meeting.
Google is on a rampage to transcribe anything that generates speech on its Android platform in real-time. For most Android phones, users can transcribe voice memos with Live Transcribe. Pixels, though, can get system-wide transcription with Live Caption. So, where's the next step forward? Maybe it's with Duo messages.
The renaissance of mobile room-based video chat applications has largely passed, with even Facebook deciding their clone didn't need to stick around. One of the original players, Houseparty, has managed to continue running. In fact, today the app was acquired by video game giant Epic Games.