Google Duo, Google's video chatting app, is finally testing out a group call capability, according to a Monday Android Police report. While murmurs of a group calling feature have circulated for a while, Android Police was able to confirm actual development of the technology from an anonymous source.
Released in August of 2016, Google Duo acts as the Android counterpart to Apple's Facetime, allowing users to video chat on their mobile devices. Duo was meant to simplify video calls previously conducted in Google Hangouts, since the layout of Hangouts made video chatting more of a pain than a luxury. The Google Duo app is a platform dedicated to video calls, but currently only allows for calls between two users.
SEE: Mobile device security: A guide for business leaders (Tech Pro Research)
Based on screenshots from the anonymous tipster, Android Police reported that group video calls are now being tested in the Duo app, but only for up to seven people. Apple's Facetime allows for up to 32 users to video call at once, setting a difficult precedent for competitors.
The screenshots detail the ability to great a group video chat, name the group, and save the group in your contact list for easy access. Android Police's anonymous source was able to test the group call feature personally.
Group video chatting would make mobile conference calls easier and more user-friendly for Android business professionals. The feature could prove extremely useful for traveling employees or remote workers needing to call into a meeting, providing an option for seeing coworkers rather than just hearing them.
Another feature possibly being tested by Google is a low light mode in Duo, according to Android Police. When a user enters a room or setting that is dark, the app will generate a pop-up asking if you want to enter low light mode. If you elect to do so, the app will automatically adjust the brightness of your screen to adapt to the darker environment.
Google has not yet officially announced the addition or testing of either features in Google Duo.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- Google could be adding group video chat and low light capabilities to its Duo app. — Android Police, 2019
- The group video chat would allow calling for up to seven users. — Android Police, 2019
- 5G smartphones: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- IT pro's guide to the evolution and impact of 5G technology (TechRepublic download)
- BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policy template download (Tech Pro Research)
- The 10 best smartphones of 2018 (ZDNet)
- Best mobile VPN services for 2018 (CNET)
- The 10 most important iPhone apps of all time (Download.com)
Macy Bayern has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.