Duo is Released Today

Google’s Video Chat App, Duo, is Released Today. But, Who’s Going to Use It?


Google released its new video messaging app, Duo, which let’s Android and iOS users have one-on-one video chats with other users of the app. Duo is meant to have a simple interface, requiring no separate account, just a phone number (like the WhatsApp of video). It is also supposed to be fast, even on slower networks. Finally, all Duo calls are end-to-end encrypted.

The screenshots for the app look pleasant enough, but Google has an uphill battle with this one. Who is this app for? It works with both iOS and Android, so presumably everybody. But, are iOS users dying to chat with their Android-using friends? Because they certainly aren’t going to leave Facetime for this app. Are the security minded worried about using end-to-end encryption for their clandestine video chats? Why would Hangouts users switch to Duo, when the former is already installed on their device? Why not just upgrade Hangouts to Duo? Google is now asking its users to make a choice between two of its services.

While I am pretty close to being a card-carrying Google Fanboy, I am confounded by how Google treats its users with app rollouts? Google Voice? Well, it still works. For now. Hangouts? You can still use it, but it’s going to be more enterprise focused in the coming days. So, use Duo for video and Allo for chat instead. Or just keep using Hangouts and Messenger. Or maybe use all of them and see what more of your friends use, which is probably just FB Messenger and iMessage.

Will I use Duo? Yes. I have a wife who travels internationally and Hangouts is awful with slow hotel connections. Hopefully Duo ’s speed can fix the problem. But, beyond that, I can’t think of any daily, or even weekly, use case.

I’d love to hear from my 3 readers on whether or not they will install, and what they would use it for. Hit me up in the comments.

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