Of all the things I’ve been waiting on Duo to deliver in the web version of the app, group calling is my absolute #1. Is it a little late to the game considering the current, pandemic-riddled circumstances? Yes it is, but in just a handful of test calls I’ve done with the service, it honestly feels like it was kinda worth the wait.
Let’s hit the specifics, first. Duo on the web (https://duo.google.com/) is completely web-based, but you’ll need Chrome 83 to use it. This is due to Chrome’s new WebRTC API updates that keeps things safe and secure in the web environment. With that in mind, you can head over to the Duo site, log in with your Google account (this is a firmly Google account-based service, after all), and you’ll see all your Google contacts ready for you to add to your group. As a very nice touch, any groups you’ve previously saved from the Duo app will show up once your contacts sync up.
The interface is simple and intuitive as well. All you need to do is hit the Create Group button on the left side of the screen, select your contacts, and start up the call. In the pre-call screen, you also get the direct link to share via chat apps to those who may not have Duo set up yet. They will have to sign in with a Google account to proceed into the call, but they can do all that via the link provided and get hooked up in your group directly after.
Once the call is started with up to 32 in the call (31 contact plus yourself), everyone is presented in a grid with tasteful, rounded borders on each caller’s viewport. The look is great, the performance is great, and I am ecstatic with how well this all works out of the box. Not surprisingly, with Duo being the torch bearer for WebRTC from Google, the overall quality of the calls is top-notch and extremely easy to navigate.
For casual, non-scheduled converstations, Duo on the web will absolutely be my new go-to mode of operation. Nearly everyone I know has a Google account, so getting people I want to talk to over on the service is about as simple as it gets and now, with the web version containing all the features I want in a group chat service, it will be the place I go when I want to virtually connect with others. You can try it out right now over at https://duo.google.com (install the PWA from the omnibar while you are at it) and see for yourself how good this all is and why we’re so excited by it.
SOURCE: @juberti on Twitter