Messaging and video calling apps cost a lot more these days. One of them is the Google Duo App, which allows you to keep in touch with friends and family through video and voice calls. But how does it compare to rivals such as WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, and Signal? You should use …? These are the two main questions we will answer in this post.
Google Duo Versus The Competition
The most important thing to know is that Google Duo App does not support instant messaging. It only supports audio and video calls. This is the main difference between Google Duo and other popular competing apps. With WhatsApp, Signal, Skype, Messenger, and Viber you can also send messages in addition to calling.
Google had a special messaging app called Allo. He made his debut alongside the Duo in 2016, but the company broke up last year because few people used him. However, you can use Google Hangouts as an alternative to texting.
When it comes to calls, Google Duo has some features that you won’t find with most competitors. The most interesting one is called Knock Knock and allows you to watch video calls.
This means that when someone calls you, you can see them through the camera before answering the call. For security reasons, the caller cannot see you until you answer.
If No One Responds, You Can Leave A Video Message.
Then there is the option to create a video/audio message and send it to a contact. Yes, WhatsApp and other competing apps allow you to send audio and video recordings via chat.
Duo implements this differently. It is a bigger and more important part of the application. For example, if you call someone and they don’t answer, you can press the “Leave Message” button and then decide whether to leave an audio or video message. You can also spruce up a video with various filters and effects, just like my colleague Ankit did in the images below.
Google Duo App also allows you to send a heart emoji to contacts with a single touch or a simple note that can be personalized with different fonts and colors.
These features are not at all innovative, but they are available if you need them. The tool is also integrated into the dialer app on Samsung Galaxy S20 phones, so you can quickly call someone with the push of a button.
Another thing worth noting is that Google Duo has no ads. It is not the only application of its kind that does not contain advertising, but it is certainly in the minority. The signal is also ad-free. Meanwhile, Skype, Viber, and Messenger contain advertisements. There are currently no ads on WhatsApp, but that may change soon.
When it comes to group conversations, Google Duo Video Call could engage up to 12 people. That number has risen to 32 since mid-June. This is not a class leader, but it competes well with the competition. Viber supports up to 20 people, while WhatsApp allows up to eight. Skype is the most generous with support for up to 50 people.
Google Duo Call Quality
All the resources in the world don’t matter if the call quality of an application is poor. This is where the Duo should shine based on Google saying it’s “the highest quality video calling app” you can get.
Based on usage, the Google Duo App keeps its promise. The video quality it offers is slightly better than Viber, Signal, and WhatsApp. The colors are more vibrant and realistic. The video is less grainy and the connection is much more stable, which means that the video freezes less often.
I’m not saying Viber, Signal, and WhatsApp are bad apps for video calling. They do the job, but the difference in video quality compared to Duo is immediately noticeable. Skype, on the other hand, is just as good as the Google Duo. I didn’t see a big difference between the two – they both got a thumbs up from me.
Google Duo Video Call Encryption
Privacy is important so we have to say a few words about encryption. Google Duo offers end-to-end encryption, which basically means that no one can see the messages you send or the calls you make. This includes Google.
End-to-end encryption is excellent because it provides complete anonymity. But the Google Duo isn’t the only service that offers this. Viber, WhatsApp, and Signal are enabled by default, making them just as secure as the Google Duo Call.
When it comes to Skype and Facebook Messenger, the story is a bit different. By default, both encrypt data between your device and corporate servers. This means that while no one can spy on your conversation if you’re on a public Wi-Fi network, both Microsoft (owner of Skype) and Facebook can see the messages you send if they want to.
However, there is a way to get around this. Both Skype and Messenger also offer end-to-end encryption, but you have to enable this by opening a private conversation on Skype or a secret conversation on Facebook. This means that both services can be just as secure as Google Duo, WhatsApps, and the rest of the competition, you just have to remember to opt for Private Chat. It’s a bit boring, but it’s better than nothing.
So, Should You Be Using Google Duo App?
The Google Duo is a mix of things. On the one hand, the lack of instant messaging makes it difficult to recommend to anyone looking for an all-in-one communication app. But on the other hand, the quality of the video makes it a great choice for those who often make video calls.
If the quality of the video is super important to you and you’re still not using Skype, I would definitely hit the Google Duo. It also comes with some unique features that many will appreciate. Even though there is nothing innovative about it.
If you’re happy with the video quality of your current messaging application, or you just want an application that handles messages and calls, Duo is not for you. Video quality in apps like WhatsApp and Viber is decent, but it’s just not up to par with what the Duo offers.
Another big advantage is that Google Duo now offers video calling with up to 32 participants, which is a great feature. Only Skype can beat you with your limit of 50 participants.
Google Duo Download – How Can You Download Google Duo App?
The best thing about these apps is that they are all free, so you can try them out for yourself for some hands-on experience. You can download the Google Duo below if you don’t already have it installed on your phone and test it.
DOWNLOAD GOOGLE DUO APP for Android and iOS
Needless to say, I’ll say it anyway, when choosing the right messaging app for your needs, you should also consider what your friends are using. A great app is useless if no one you know is using it because you don’t have anyone to talk to.