Just as Google Meet is rolling out for all Gmail users, Google has brought some new features to Duo that could make one of the most well-rounded consumer options for video chats. Google took to The Keyword today to announce the updates that include the new family mode that allows users to doodle during calls for all the chatters to see. New effects have been added as well. Leading up to Mother’s Day weekend, you can turn yourself into an animated vase of flowers to share with mom when you call her this Sunday. (Seriously, call your mom. She misses you.)
These new features are great additions and I’m sure that they will find good use while bringing more users to the platform. That said, Google announced another update that would be rolling out in the coming weeks that will make Duo my go-to for practically any and all future video chats. For personal use, Google Duo is awesome and using it on a mobile device is easy, convenient and the experience is almost always high-quality. Just recently, Google upped the number of users you could have in a single Duo chat from 8 to 12. That was a very welcome addition in this time of social distancing and remote working. The only drawback is that 12 users in a chat on a mobile device gets crowded really quick.
Sadly, Duo for the Web has never supported group calls which greatly reduces its ability to be a real productivity tool. For quick one-on-one chats, Duo is a killer application regardless of the device you’re using. For larger, group chats, you need a desktop and Duo just won’t do. That will all change when this feature update drops. Google is adding support for group calls to Duo on the web that includes a refined grid layout so that you can better see everyone on the call. Additionally, you can invite anyone with a Google account to your chat with a simple link. Google Meet is probably still the better choice if you’re looking for a consistent enterprise or educational solution but this update to Duo will make it a seriously versatile tool for just about anyone who wants a great small group video chat experience on any device that’s completely free.
The group call feature will arrive in the coming weeks and will launch as a preview in the Chrome browser before a wider rollout. For an added bit of fun, Google put together this cool video all about how you can Duo and it’s done with the Duo ringtone as the background music. Check it out.
Source: The Keyword