A really big update is coming to Google’s quite-popular video chat app Duo. While we’ve been pretty excited by the arrival of the free version of Google Meet in the past couple weeks, Duo still sits as my favorite, casual video chat app. It is cross-platform, has a web version, and integrates quite well into Android’s phone interface on some phones, too. If I’m in need of a quick, impromptu video call with a few people, Duo is always my go to app for it.
While Google Meet is great for large groups and scheduled meetings, I wouldn’t really use it for a quick call to my wife to check on which type of pasta she was wanting me to grab at the grocery store. These quick, face-to-face calls are exactly what Duo is made for, but Google continues to expand the consumer-focused video chat app more and more as time goes by to make it more capable.
Google recently unveiled that group calls were finally on the way for the web version of the service. While this isn’t the primary way Duo will be used, the ability to seamlessly take quick video calls on the web on any device with a browser sets Duo apart from apps like Facetime that require a particular OS and an installed app.
Now, Google has announced via an email that Duo calls will soon be able to handle up to 32 callers at once. This will put it on par with the recently-released ability of Facetime to do the same thing and will continue keeping feature parity between Apple’s iOS-only video chat tool and Google’s cross platform one. While I don’t know that I’ll be creating groups of 32 for Duo calls any time soon, I love having overhead if it is ever needed. With this new limit, Duo can be the casual video chat app for just about any situation. Again, if you are scheduling a meeting or have a routine, ongoing group call, Google Meet is an easier solution. However, if you just feel the need to make an impromptu call to the family and you have a bunch of people to throw into the mix, it is nice to know you can still lean on Duo for that.