Android 7.0, Nougat, Duo and Allo caused quite a buzz at Google I/O. Google’s long awaited response to FaceTime and iMessage on the iPhone are Duo and Allo, releasing this summer. What’s big about it?  Duo and Allo will be available on Android and on iOS. So far Google has delivered half their promise…let’s talk about Duo.
On August 16th the FaceTime competitor Duo launched its global rollout. Duo is similar to Apple’s FaceTime. It is only available on your phone and works with your phone number. Some of the familiar features include the ability to flip cameras, mute yourself and to call anyone on your contact list with the app, similar to FaceTime. So why Duo? Duo’s standout feature is called “Knock, Knock.” “Knock Knock” allows the recipient of the call to tap twice on the screen to get a live preview of who is calling. This is a novel and useful feature and word is it’s working well with minimal lag or glitches. Don’t get excited though, if you own an iPhone, this feature is not available on iOS, as Apple’s software restricts some of the capabilities of third party applications.

What else? Duo’s clean and welcoming design is intended to make users feel more open to using the application. Google’s design includes a very playful aesthetic with bubbles on the screen. According to Google, one of their top priorities has been to create a very smooth and seamless experience. The user experience is further enhanced by Duo offering seamless changes from WiFi to Cellular Data. Duo will also will also monitor bad connections and will lower the quality of the call accordingly.

FaceTime beware:  if Google plays this well, Apple may have a fierce competitor to contend with. Google has also announced, to our relief, that the release of Duo and Allo will have no effect on Google Hangouts or Messenger. Google Hangouts is expected to morph into a more professional means of video calling with the release of Duo. As of right now Duo is widely available for download on the Google Play store and the Apple App store, but some countries may have to wait a little longer. There is still no word about exactly when Allo will be released, but we can expect it very soon.

Kevin Nether