Google Duo Will Feature Audio Calls Soon! Would it Threaten WhatsApp?
It hasn’t even a day since the official launch of Google Duo, the one-to-one video calling app, and speculations have already started about what next Google will add to the service, apart from minor fixes and UI enhancements.
Google has kept Duo extremely simple to allow no-frills video calls between two people, and that’s it. There is nothing else that the application can offer you right now, but according to a post on Google+,Google might add audio calls soon, which would work in the same way as the video calls do.
Amit Fulay, Group Product Manager at Google, responded to one of the users by saying that audio calls will be coming soon to Duo. If that becomes reality, there practically won’t be any difference between Hangouts and Duo, except text messaging. Unfortunately, we do not know how soon the new feature will be making its debut on the video calling application.
At the moment Google Duo’s primary objective is to allow a simple video call between two individuals without any fancy internet connections and handsets. It is as simple as it can get and offers some few interesting features like Knock Knock and end-to-end encryption.
Especially in India, where the internet connectivity is poor and not many users have access to quality internet bandwidth, having an audio call as a backup would be a wonderful feature. If Google could make it happen with poor connectivity, nothing would be more welcome in India than these audio calls.
WhatsApp calls hit the 100 Million per day mark this year and this shows how people have been leveraging internet calls over regular calls. If Google develops audio calls into Duo, a lot of users might shift to Duo from WhatsApp and other similar services for quality service with minimal internet connection requirement.
How can Duo improve it further?
WhatsApp calls have become more relevant now with the advent of features like voicemail and Call Back that have made the experience closer to regular calling. Google Duo’s voice calls would be exactly the same, making it an attractive contender against WhatsApp.
However, users are still puzzled with the introduction of a video-calling app when Google Hangouts exists and makes video calls just the same. Yes Duo allows video calls on poorer internet as well but Google could have built-in Duo into Hangouts and not released another application.
Keeping aside the argument above and focusing on Duo right now, the app seems great and the video calls we made were crisp and clear as expected. The Knock Knock feature is interesting and definitely helped us give a peek into the other person’s camera view. We’re sure the UI enhancements in future will make it look better and cleaner.
If Google plans to market Duo while also having Hangouts, it must try to offer something unique during video calls. Maybe it could add a few filters and allow users to record the videos. WhatsApp will add video calling in the future and it could prove to be a major threat in the future to Google.
All in all, Duo works very well and has been designed to do what it is supposed to. However, we see it moving towards WhatsApp’s territory, more than FaceTime’s, and this could actually push the companies to innovate in the texting-calling application space.